Ars Nova and Archer Spade join up for experimental jazz at The Rotunda on Wednesday
You couldn’t exactly call Miles Archer and Sam Spade one of fiction’s great teams; after all, Archer’s death helps to set the events of The Maltese Falcon in motion. Dan Blacksberg and Nick Millevoi’s partnership as Archer Spade has fortunately been more productive. Under that name alone, they’re a new music trombone/guitar duo; a commissioning entity that has generated works by the likes of Gene Coleman, Roscoe Mitchell, and Dave Soldier; and a concert series now entering into a new partnership with Ars Nova Workshop.
The inaugural performance under that dual banner, which will take place Wednesday night at the Rotunda, won’t feature Archer Spade the band, but it will feature bands led by both Blacksberg and Millevoi. Their partnership dates back to more than a decade earlier, when both were part of the Masterman High School jazz band, through Millevoi’s avant-jazz/country band Circles and their Joe Morris tribute group Racketshop.
On Wednesday, both will celebrate new CD releases. The Dan Blacksberg Trio’s Perilous Architecture (NoBusiness) marks the trombonist’s return to experimental jazz after his last project, Deveykus, found him fusing traditional Jewish music and doom metal. And Solarists (New Atlantis) is the second album by Haitian Rail (formerly known as the Ricart/Millevoi Quartet), a wiry, snarling unit co-led by Millevoi and guitarist Ed Ricart (a frequent collaborator with electic drummer William Hooker) which also features Blacksberg and Mostly Other People Do the Killing drummer Kevin Shea.