This new trio - who have played with each other countless times, but never all together - will perform at a pair of intimate gigs August 28 and 29 at the Bearsville Theater to benefit Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (KTD) and Family of Woodstock. All three masters have connections to the area and tend to lie low when up in these parts. So when they decide to come out and play, odds are it's for a more-than-worthy cause.
Grenadier was the anchor in Metheny's trio for years - a stint amply documented on Trio 99>00 and on the wonderful double disc Trio 99>00 Live. The guitarist and DeJohnette have matched wits many times, including the classic Song X with Ornette Coleman. They have shared the bandstand and the studio under the drummer's leadership a few times, and in "supergroups" with Dave Holland, Michael Brecker, Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins and others. In fact, the very first time that Metheny and DeJohnette gigged together was right here in Woodstock: at the 1981 Woodstock Jazz Festival, with Chick Corea, Anthony Braxton, Lee Konitz and Miroslav Vitous. For you collectors, hunt down a rare studio session with Pat, Jack and Jaco Pastorius wailing over "Third Stone from the Sun."
These guys all transfigured musical categories, not to mention expectations, long before doing so became a postmodern (and somewhat undiscriminating) cottage industry. So too does Family of Woodstock defy notions of what a network of assistance can do. These folks, who have been around for almost 40 years, specialize in crisis intervention, yet also put muscles behind crisis prevention. It might be a mental health issue, a family in deep need, a domestic violence issue or one of many health-related afflictions, but FoW is always there.
That we need a gig from these three masters to help provide basic materials for the growing number of those in serious predicaments is sickening. So, even if improvised music at the highest level isn't your bag, support the cause: Buy a ticket and treat a friend.
In addition to being an active monastery, teaching center and retreat, Karma Triyana Dharmachakra is also the western seat of his holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa, the nominal leader of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. The present abbot is Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche. By providing funds to finish building a home for the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Orgyen Trinley Dorje, one ensures that the lamp of dharma continues to burn brightly.
Tickets are $65 for the Golden Circle (first three rows), $50 for reserved seats and $35 for standing room. Tickets can be purchased online at www.bearsvilletheater.com/events-calendar or by calling (845) 679-4406 during box office hours, 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, or by appointment.