As the band's name implies, Equal Interest works from the premise that each player must contribute in equal proportion to the others if the group's music is to transcend the sum of its parts and stand on its own. Further, said players must simultaneously listen to one another (with equal interest) and be equally interested in charging the music's moment-to-moment energy shifts with their own infusions, which of course need to hit on a comparable level (i.e., to be equally interesting). The slightest hesitancy or miscalculation has no place in this kind of musicmaking; in fact, it will invariably cause the structural foundation of a piece to crumble into ruin.
This band of world-class improv architects includes founding member of '60s radicals the Creative Construction Company and one-time Cecil Taylor bandmate Leroy Jenkins (violin), the elder avant-gardist in the group; original Art Ensemble of Chicago co-sorcerer Joseph Jarman (saxophones), its Zen master. Myra Melford is one of Equal Interest's dual reigning matriarchs, along with Marilyn Crispell, of forward-pushing piano. Beyond the power pedigrees, this group's driving concept underscores what may be the core value of 21st-century creative jazz. Equal Interest — the name says it all.
Equal Interest appears on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 8 p.m. at Yoshi's, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. Tickets are $16; call (510) 238-9200.