Lola Danza & Friends

Friday May 15 8pm, $10 donation requested

Lola Danza – voice,
Nat Mugavero – drums,
Eric Hofbauer- guitar
Walter Wright – live painting

“Lola Danza is a force of nature!” — Chris Rich

Lola’s interview on WGBH Boston’s, “Eric in the Evening” Jazz Show, February 25, 2009
NPR Eric Jackson Part I
NPR Eric Jackson Part II

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One Response to Lola Danza & Friends

  1. 119 Gallery says:

    The Road To Avant Garde

    Before Danza’s 2007 move to New York, she had not yet fully embraced free jazz: she says her compositions were world music with jazz. “It had form, but it was moving into the free thing. There would be free sections, and I was exploring and trying to go in another direction. So I wrote for a string quartet, and I use guitar, bass, and drums a lot and I have some albums that I released with that: Rebirth (Evolver Records, 2002) and Vision Quest (Evolver Records, 2005). In the last album, you can really see that there’s a bridge between what just happened on this newest album and the singer-songwriter, jazz sort of thing.

    Evolver is her own label.

    Visionquest has a mix of free pieces as well as compositions. It’s sort of chamber music-ish sounding, because I don’t really use the drums very much and it (has) strings—it’s two basses actually.”

    So what in particular led Danza to avant-garde?

    “I think it’s listening to instrumental music,” she says, “and I wanted to be inside of the music and I think that free jazz allowed me to explore that without putting any limits on it, psychologically speaking. I started hanging out with these free jazz guys in Boston , Nat Mugavero [drummer] and John Lockwood. The three of us sort of just having these experiments around Boston, and I just started playing with stuff, sitting in sessions, talking to people … I had been searching. Looking back on this, I had been looking for this for a very long time, but did not know how to say what it was or what to call it. And somehow it found me.

    “These last three years I’ve been working on what came out on that album. I’d been writing [and] singing compositions that I wrote, and I felt they were good but they weren’t exactly what I was looking for, and I put strings on it to shake it up a bit … But then me and some friends were listening to John Scofield, Steve Swallow and Bill Stewart in my apartment back in Boston years ago, and, as instrumentalists, they’re able to experience music this way [by] being inside of the music. Instrumentalists can experience music in the way that a voice has not been able to experience in group playing. Usually the voice is on top.

    “So this time I wanted to be inside of the music, just like a guitar player or a drummer, even more so than a horn because a horn stays on top a lot of times. I wanted to be inside, so that’s the development of this process of learning how to be inside of the music. I wanted to actually have the voice comp for the band, have the voice give tones to support the band, rather than only singing on top of it. So that’s what this project was about, and over the past three years that’s what I’ve been investigating. It’s been three years of working on this process of ‘How can the voice do this?'”

    She notes, “There is so much more territory that has yet to be explored. And right now, this recording, it’s a year old and already I’m somewhere else, musically speaking. There’s new territory. This music, it’s changing. It grows so rapidly. You know, people are like, ‘Are you going to do a CD release party and are you going to have the same band?’ Well, you can’t really have the same band because this recording, it’s done. It’s over. Now I am searching for more, the search for something else. This new album can never be captured again. That night doesn’t exist anymore. It’s in the past. I wouldn’t want to relive it again. Not at all, because I’m thinking about something else now. I have so many ideas and I want to develop and explore them all.”

    “I have just discovered the music of Bill Laswell,” says Danza. “Cause and Effect (Innerhythmic, 2007) and Imaginary Cuba (Wicklow/RCA, 1999) are extremely powerful, as they have a strong political message. Points of Order (Innerhythmic, 2001) is hip. Buckethead and Karl Berger are on it. Bill Laswell is masterful. He’s brilliant.”

    — from an interview by Simon Jay Harper, All About Jazz.