Live review: Go: Organic Orchestra, Adam Rudolph's Moving Pictures at REDCAT, October 7 (Angel City Jazz Fest).

Adam Rudolph plotted an alternative angle for Go: Organic Orchestra, his large point & play improv ensemble, on Saturday. The method remained the same – spine-vibrating harmonies predefined, with Rudolph directing the dynamics and selecting individuals, pairs or sections for rhythmic stings, free blowing and sheets of sustain. The difference resided in the choice of players: He invited fewer young 'uns. This resulted in less craziness but more focus, as each proven improviser (full group listed below) crafted diamond-cut solos that reflected his or her individual skills and experience. The ancient African grooves maintained full-blooded energy and forward motion, and Organic Orchestra reinforced its status as one of the most exciting concepts and spectacles in the world-jazz universe.

Rudolph began the evening by leading his eight-member Moving Pictures from behind congas or while plucking the gut-toned three-stringed guimbri. The all-star outfit percolated through a fusionistic journey that could have been mistaken for Miles Davis' circa-1970 electric music (in which special guest windman Bennie Maupin participated), except replacing Miles' moody darkness with spiritual optimism. These exceptional adventurers found every way to engage the ear and keep the spotlight moving; their crisply recorded "Glare of the Tiger" album, good as it is, seemed like only a blueprint compared to the live gyrations. After the set, Rudolph nodded respect to festival theme icon Thelonious Monk, but paid special tribute to his own mentor and musical ally Dr. Yusef Lateef, who died in 2013. The audience agreed and then some.


Adam Rudolph - conductor
Bennie Maupin - bass clarinet, soprano sax
Gustavo Bulgach – B-flat clarinet
Pablo Calogero - bass clarinet, tibetan trumpet
Ralph M. Jones - flutes, bass clarinet, soprano sax, tenor sax
Charles Sharp - contrabass and B-flat clarinets
Michael Birnbryer - clarinet, bass clarinet
Myka Miller - oboe, English horn
Tara Speiser - bassoon
Graham Haynes - cornet, flugelhorn
Ronit Kirchman - electric violin
Emily Hay - flutes
Ellen Burr - flutes
Fawntice Finesse - flutes
Thomas Stones - flutes
Damon Banks - electric bass
Kenny Wessel - electric guitar, banjo
Alex Marcelo - Fender Rhodes, piano
Janie Cowan - acoustic bass
Randy Gloss - gongs, frame drums, percussion
Hamid Drake - drum set, percussion
Dexter Story - drum set, percussion
Carlos Niño - percussion


Adam Rudolph – hand drums, guimbri
Bennie Maupin - saxes
Hamid Drake – drum set, hand drums
Graham Haynes – cornet, flugelhorn, percussion, electronics
Ralph M. Jones – woodwinds, African flutes
Kenny Wessel – electric guitar
Damon Banks – electric bass
Alex Marcelo – Fender Rhodes, percussion