Coin Coin Chapter One
Filed Under: Music & Film | Posted: 03/18/2012 at 10:33PM
Comments | Region: New York | United States
At the Museum of Modern Art, I had the intuition: "Go to Le Poisson Rouge!" (That’s a sophisticated art-nightclub on Bleecker Street.) First I attended the Healing Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, then hopped the E train downtown. Coming up the steps at W. 4th St., I saw a blue rubber band twisted into the infinity symbol. Le Poisson Rouge was having a listening party for Matana Roberts’ Coin Coin Chapter One, which exists in two forms: as a CD or a gorgeous four-LP set. I sat on a banquette and listened. Matana plays a music of longitude, a shipboard music. The songs escape jazz, then escape back into jazz. There was a saxophone, hymnlike chants, echoes of Tennyson rhymes. At the end, I introduced myself to her, and spoke. She has very smooth skin and large patient eyes. Matana is much like her music: articulate, balanced, appreciative. I compared her to Don Cherry and she waved her head from side to side: "That is high praise," she said. She told me of her love for Punk: Fugazi, X, Bad Brains. And that she went to the New England Conservatory of Music, which did not surprise me. I had suspected she had a fine musical education, because of her wide harmonic logic. "I sing because it’s necessary, when it’s necessary," Matana explained.