Kevin Whitehead Presents on the Music of Misha Mengelberg


On June 6 jazz critic Kevin Whitehead gave a presentation on the great pianist Misha Mengelberg entitled “Digested Lessons of the Master” at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam. The lecture, given the day after Mengelberg’s 80th birthday, was part of a symposium to celebrate his musical and intellectual significance. Those interested in Mengelberg, the Instant Composers Pool, avant-garde/free jazz in Europe, etc. should definitely take a look. I won’t spoil it, but Whitehead’s set up and framing is just as unexpected, playful, brilliant, and rigorous as the music of Mengelberg and his ICP cohorts is.

[Also: the recent album from the ICP Orchestra, East of the Sun, is more than worth a listen. Everything from a cover of “Moten Swing”, marches, and little folk ditties to lilting swing numbers and raucous polyphonic sprees. To quote Hunter S. Thompson, “buy the ticket, enjoy the ride.”]

And now, Kevin Whitehead…

….a little musical nugget: Mengelberg in duo with his frequent co-conspirator Han Bennink, who appears to be playing a pizza box.

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