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Spontaneous Combustion

Two blowups, in fact. The first: Greenwich Village gallery/performace space Tenri exploding on Friday night as pianist Blair McMillen burned down the place with his mad skillz. It’s always a treat to hear Blair play, but this time, the pianist commenced the show by walking out, smiling and bowing, sitting down on the bench, and slamming both his forearms down on the keyboard with the force of Zeus. Oooh, I thought. This is gonna be good…

Avian Music produced this improv-themed solo-recital for Blair, and it was a great show—fun and meaty and brilliantly performed. The standout bits were a set of biting Ives studies, a really terrific new concertino by composer Peter Flint (a piano quintet titled Microconcerto: Spontaneous Combustion), a two-ton monster of a new piece by Annie Gosfield (I’m quickly becoming her #1 fan), a set of absolutely charming miniatures by Kyle Gann, and McMillen’s own loving arrangement of King Crimson’s 21st Century Schizoid Man, with Oren Fader on joining him guitar, and Marc Schmied on bass. Which, y’know, set the place ablaze with Nobrow.

The other blowup? … my Good Sense, when I decided I’ll be doing this bike tour today.

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