The lineup for Massamalgam, a collaborative improvisational performance presented by the Third Lip Cabaret, is very special: Anyone even remotely interested in the past, present and future of free improv in St. Louis is advised to tape The X-Files
and check this action. So impressive is the lineup that all
13 members warrant mention. The two out-of-towners, both in from NYC, are poet and filmmaker Ira Cohen, who will be projecting his films above the musicians; and trumpeter Roy Campbell, who has worked with, among others, Don Cherry, Sun Ra and Cecil Taylor. St. Louis performers include Last Poets founding member Dahveed Nelson; Mark Deutsch on sitar, electric bass and bazantar; poet Shirley LeFlore; percussionists Gary Sykes and Henry Claude; poet Michael Castro; saxophonist Dave Stone; trombonist John Wolf; laptop composer Chris Smentkowski; and the founders of Third Lip, Michael Marwit and Eric Hall. This nearly overwhelming collection of musicians and artists will attempt to meld a crazy array of instruments (trumpet, sitar and bazantar, human voice, saxophone, computer, trombone, samplers, percussion, Moogs, shortwave radio, toys). The group's press release best describes their hope for Massamalgam: "Whether it be groove-driven pieces or evolving amorphous soundscapes, the goal is to use performers whose sensibilities would not crowd the music, leaving it to develop with eloquence and attention to textures." This is a must-see, people. Go.