A couple of weeks ago we saw a fun and intriguing performance by Denny Denny Breakfast at the Luggage Store Gallery in San Francisco. It was the subject of a recent CatSynth TV.
Denny Denny Breakfast is an ensemble project led by Robert Woods-LaDue. The personnel changes per event, but on this occasion, it included Sarah Dionne Woods-LaDue (dance), Mark Clifford (vibraphone), Crystal Pascucci (cell0), Jordan Glenn (drums), David Young (keyboard), Max Judelson (upright bass), and Rent Romus (alto saxophone). They had recorded an album together in December 2017 and the mix of improvisations and noted sections informed the live performance at the Luggage Store.
Several of the parts were improvised once again, but others were relatively fixed, including the final piece that was a note-for-note transcription of an improvisation from the recording sessions. There was also a piece originally conceived while the group was playing in the Finnish Hall in Berkeley but did not make it onto the album. It was a simple concept of repeated patterns slowly changing in speed between two groups of performs, creating a phase pattern in the acoustic space. The Finnish Hall has very unique acoustics, and so does the third floor of the Luggage Store Gallery, making it an ideal location to recreate the piece. Throughout there was a large variation in the music between pieces, ranging from melodic and theatrical to noisy and percussive, to minimal with large amounts of empty space. Each of these styles and textures left room for the dancers Sarah and Robert Woods-LaDue to be front and center.
We were happy to have been introduced to Woods-LaDue’s work, and are enjoying his recordings as well. There is a wide variation in style among the different albums, but that will be a topic for another review in the not-too-distant future.