Eclectic Duos Offer Surprises at New York’s Town Hall

By Bill Milkowski

“Nobody knows what’s gonna happen—not you, not me, not even the musicians,” promoter Adam Schatz told the Town Hall audience on May 14 at the second edition of “A Night of Improvised Round Robin Duets,” a program of intriguing, unlikely duo performances that merged electronic experimentation with jazz improvisation.

The event, which was part of the Undead Music Festival and co-presented by Red Bull Music Academy, featured an all-star cast of musicians, including guitarists Marc Ribot and Nels Cline; pianists Marco Benevento and Allen Toussaint; trumpeters Dave Douglas and Wadada Leo Smith; and saxophonists Dave Murray and James Carter, among others. The result was a continuous flow of music that lasted two hours and highlighted some compelling pairings along the way.

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