Local experimental whizzes Norman Adams, Tim Crofts and Lukas Pearse performed as their trio Crofts/Adams/Pearse at a calm and only slightly overheated 1313 Hollis, performance space of the Jazz Festival’s home base, on Sunday night. Though sometimes an acoustic piano/cello/bass trio, the set was electronic this time, creating an ultra-minimal sound much of the time, which sat well with the small and hot venue. Pearse played his bass with drumsticks and objects (egg cups?) stuck in the strings, while Adams’ bowing hand was gloved and wired to something up his shirt sleeve.
Some pieces were more string-heavy, with traditional sounds augmented by piano electronics, but the trio never stays on a single sound too long: Crofts’ piano will launch into robotic sequences while Pearse’s walking bass line will start squelching and echoing.
Vancouver band The Unsupervised headlined the show, finishing off a cross-country tour. The five-piece ensemble of energetic young jazzmen played the most jazzy jazz I’ve seen at the festival so far, drawing mainly from mid-century jazz styles, bop and modal jazz, sometimes more mournful. Different compositions gave each musician a chance to shine as a soloist, with a drum solo that grew increasingly rapid-fire making up one particularly clamorous piece. They grew more rambunctious toward the end of their set, and the band’s strength came through best here, the wilder, the better.