Stanley J. Zappa & Simo Laihonen with Suvadeep Das: Dance of the moving goal posts CD
US sax player Stanley J. Zappa (nephew of Frank), Finnish drummer/percussionist Simo Laihonen come together with Suvadeep Das on darbuka for ‘Dance of the moving goal Posts’ - an album of otherworldly free improv and spiritual jazz.
While the phenomena of musicians pegging their self worth to the splendor of the venues in which they perform is nothing new, let us never forget the fact that some (if not most) of the greatest music humanity will ever know was created in less than splendid environments.
And while the humble basement of Putte's Bar & Pizza isn't anywhere near as splendid as the assumed stomping grounds for culture's "blue chip" artists, it, along with the careful listening of the audience and the reindeer pizza freely given, catalyzed the music on this CD.
This is not to degenerate the environment of or the experience performing at the glorious Sibelius Museum in Turku, nor any of the other stops on that most halcyon of tours in August 2018, there is no question that the gestalt of those concerts and this one at the pizza parlour were entirely different. Perhaps that speaks poorly of the Laihonen Zappa
duo - that their output could be swayed by extramusical, environmental factors.
But then neither Laihonen nor Zappa are fish paste in a tube making robots. The music they do is as much a culmination of past events as it is a manifestation of the moment.
Furthermore, repeatability, that loadstone of efficient production, is
ultimately antithetical to this way, our way of being in music. If there is such a thing as "soul"--be it that which emerges from the corpse after death, or the ultimately indefinable, not unanimous and yet often spoke of quality many claim to perceive in music --Putte's Bar & Pizza encouraged as soulful a rendering of the Laihonen Zappa duo's work as any on the tour with a fantastic percussion reinforcement from Suvadeep Das on the final piece of the evening.
SJZ, November 2022