When: Sun., Sept. 9, 8 p.m. 2012
A globe-trotting pianist, composer and writer, Thollem McDonas has racked up recent work in alacritous fashion — his forward motion is impressive. Equally startling are McDonas’ chops and interestingly canted sense of where the line lies between improvisation and composition. Born in Palo Alto in 1967, McDonas doesn’t extend the jazz tradition — his harmonic language isn’t based on blues or Gershwin standards. This year’s full-length with bassist William Parker and guitarist Nels Cline, The Gowanus Session, is a rumbling, exuberant good time, and McDonas has also done interesting recent work with the nine-piece Estamos Ensemble. Fans of rock ’n’ roll may also check out McDonas’ new full-length with The Hand to Man Band, You Are Always on Our Minds, which features Mike Watt. McDonas has a huge bag of tricks, and tonight plans to perform material written for his acoustic-punk quartet, Tsigoti. Expect a mix of expertly crafted dissonance and political commentary.