Live review: Emily Hay-Brad Dutz-Motoko Honda Trio at Café Metropol, September 13.


What fun to hear a trio do stuff you never woulda thunk.

There’s Brad Dutz with his drum kit and pointy little beard over on the right, and Emily Hay with her buncha flutes in the middle -- Dutz says he’s been interacting with Hay practically since McCain was in prison, but he’s never before teamed with pianist Motoko Honda (on the left), who’s been pulling new dimensions out of so many locals for the last year or two. The three score instant chemistry, as Honda and Hay tiptoe into a delicate call-and-response before Dutz launches a tri-tone mantra on the steel-drum head he’s thoughtfully brought along, and Honda picks up on it, and she and Dutz knock notes back and forth with increasing vibratory similarity across the net of Hay, who finds herself roughly framed like an intense self-portrait, switching off in quick dialectic between her mini-operatic vocal commentary and the soft arguments of her big alto flute (ace technique on both voice and wind).

Then Honda soundtracks some noir as Dutz thumps his shallow kick and crish-crashes on his Dr. Seuss Xmas tree of little cymbals. Hay sneaks in some suggestive physical performance art with her flutes; Honda complements the mood with insouciant Satie-like plinks; they all get together for a spooky nighttime walk in tribute to the nearly full moon that’s outshining the downtown streetlamps outside.

Dutz tosses ball bearings into his steel drum, swirls ‘em and spatters around his kit; things get deliberately fragmented for a minute.

Which is just a setup for the spy movie: Honda and Hay flee down an alley; Dutz spurs ‘em on with flappering “Mission Impossible” bongos and generously provides them with a train to jump on; Hay gasps breathless; rails clack; I-think-I-can I-think-I-can; but damn, the locomotive throws a rod and heaves to a halt.

Roll credits. The reel's gotta run out sometime.