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Friday, March 6, 2020

A star-studded concert run by the Civic Minded 5 this year begins with the Fictive Five

Posted By on Fri, Mar 6, 2020 at 1:09 PM

click to enlarge Matt Gorney of the Civic Minded 5 - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Matt Gorney of the Civic Minded 5
THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
The Fictive Five at Timucua Arts Foundation, March 4

As an operating rule, the Civic Minded 5 don’t do anything unless it’s really worth doing. Even so, 2020 will go down as a banner year for the Orlando art-music impresarios with a high-powered salvo of concerts already in the chamber. For your schedule-making purposes, the next big-name ones will be Full Blast – the free-jazz wrecking crew of Peter Brötzmann, Marino Pliakas and Michael Wertmüller – on May 6 and legendary tape-music pioneer Terry Riley with son Gyan Riley on Oct. 25, both at Timucua.

click to enlarge The Fictive Five at Timucua - GREG LEIBOWITZ
  • Greg Leibowitz
  • The Fictive Five at Timucua
The first of this sterling hat trick of special engagements was the recent show by the Fictive Five, the jazz group headed by accomplished American avant-garde saxophonist Larry Ochs. Technically, this was the quartet version they humorously self-refer to as the “Fictive Five (Less One Live),” comprised of Ochs, trumpeter Nate Wooley, bassist Ken Filiano and drummer Harris Eisenstadt.
click to enlarge Larry Ochs of the Fictive Five - PHOTO BY MATTHEW MOYER
  • Photo by Matthew Moyer
  • Larry Ochs of the Fictive Five
click to enlarge The Fictive Five at Timucua - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • The Fictive Five at Timucua
Although their interplay had all the requisite tension and restlessness of improvisation jazz, this group doesn’t operate totally out in the wilds like some free-jazz outfits. Across three sprawling pieces, the performance was a dance between spontaneity and composition. Pockets were plenty for extempore expression from each of the players, all of whom showed chops of skillful adventure. But there was structure, and Ochs directed it all like a mid-game baseball coach.



click to enlarge The Fictive Five at Timucua - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • The Fictive Five at Timucua
Moreover, their vocabulary can carry more palpable swing and dash than other free contemporaries, enough for more traditional jazz heads to wrap around. Taken together, the Fictive Five are proof that creative daring need not necessarily be painfully esoteric.

click to enlarge Nate Wooley of the Fictive Five - PHOTO BY MATTHEW MOYER
  • Photo by Matthew Moyer
  • Nate Wooley of the Fictive Five
click to enlarge The Fictive Five at Timucua - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • The Fictive Five at Timucua
Besides the onstage action, however, there are some venue improvements worth noting. First, there’s now an ADA-compliant sink in the first-floor restroom.

click to enlarge Timucua - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Timucua
But also, Timucua did a significant seating upgrade late last year. Instead of the assortment of individual chairs that were long in place, there are now cushioned row benches. In addition to the added comfort, the custom-built seating also features a small ledge for everyone to set their drink, food or whatever. Now this is living.

click to enlarge Timucua - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Timucua
And about those drinks, the house now has stainless steel tumblers in which to dispense all that shared audience-brought wine. This means no one has to deal with broken glass whenever there’s a mishap anymore.

All are very nice improvements to the visitor experience. As always, go see for yourself.

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Email Bao: baolehuu@orlandoweekly.com

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