Eric Barber and Chris Symer at Cornish’s Poncho Concert Hall as Earshot Jazz Festival presents Ziggurat on the next to last day of the 2010 Festival.

The Ziggurat Quartet’s recent Origin CD Calculated Gestures has received widespread critical acclaim and significant airplay on jazz radio. According to the group’s myspace.com page: “A passion for rhythmic experimentation drives the ensemble’s complex original compositions; many of the pieces are deeply influenced by the rhythms of East Indian music, as well as jazz and contemporary chamber music.”

Bill Anschell on piano at Ziggurat performance.

Despite working in the “standard” jazz quartet format of horn, piano, bass and drums, the ensemble comes up with a vital and visceral approach that sounds sui generis. The repertoire is entirely original compositions by Bill Anschell, Eric Barber and Doug Miller. Pianist Anschell’s knowledge of Carnatic music strongly influences the complex rhythms and patterns in his compositions. Saxophonist Barber also has a deep interest in the music of India, plus that of the Balkans and Hungary; the asymmetrical meters and surging cross-rhythms that result swing in a decidedly unconventional but still infectious manner. Although still dealing with odd meters, Miller’s tunes have a bit more of a traditional focus in terms of singable melodies.

Bryon Vannoy anchored the performance on drums.

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Click here for the complete schedule for the rest of the upcoming shows at the 2010 Earshot Jazz Festival

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