Few rhythm section tandems have lasted as long or adapted to so many drastically different musical situations as Philly avant-funk-jazz duo Jamaaladeen Tacuma and G. Calvin Weston. With a partnership stretching back nearly four decades, the pair continues to create an off-kilter groove unlike anyone else, funky but loose-limbed and amorphous.
Tomorrow, the pair will be joined by California-based guitarist Ross Hammond for one of the final shows at the soon-to-be-defunct Highwire Gallery, presented by Fire Museum and the Archer Spade Performance Series. The bill also includes a duo performance by saxophonist Heath Watts and drummer Mike Szekely.
Hammond is a prolific member of the Bay Area improvising scene, a collaborator with the likes of saxophonist Vinny Golia and drummer Alex Cline. This weekend he joins a long list of artists who have combined forces with Tacuma and Weston, including fellow guitarists Vernon Reid, Marc Ribot and Derek Bailey and saxophonists James Carter and Ornette Coleman.
Bassist Tacuma and drummer Weston met when both were in their late teens and playing with funk bands in North Philly clubs in the late Seventies. Tacuma was the first to join Coleman’s band, recommending Weston when the legendary saxophonist was looking for a drummer that could combine modern funk grooves with Coleman’s harmolodic approach. Tacuma and Weston thus formed the elastic, shape-shifting backbone for Coleman’s electric Prime Time band. While both enjoy busy careers on separate paths, their sounds are inextricably linked and together they create a tight but elusive foundation. Go here for more information and tickets to the show. Below, watch an interview with Jamaaladeen talking about how he got started and the inspiration for his music.