Mysterious Travelers 2 Concert Series | Up Next! William Wali Bickley | Recapping Madison Rast

By Perry G. RSS Tue, February 16, 2016

On Monday, February 22, join the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Jazz Project for our latest installment of the Mysterious Traveler’s 2 Jazz Series. We music librarians see the popular concert set, the art of the exhibition, as the logical endpoint of hours spent at the people’s university—the Library—poring over our music scores and fakebooks, books about instruments and musicians. We invite you to the show!

This is the second month of synthesis with the theme Great Migrations, for which each artist will handle the theme of the mighty journey of African Americans to Philadelphia and other northern cities from the South, to which we owe our rich urban musical heritage.

To reserve your spot at this concert, you can get FREE tickets through Free Library of Philadelphia's Music Department.

To see the lineup for the entire series, past and future, please take a look at our program guide.

To hear recordings, both live originals from Montgomery Auditorium or previously released recordings from our streaming music services of established jazz classics that some of these musicians are re-imagining, check out our blog.

Up Next! William "Wali" Bickley
Globe-trotting musician, writer, and composer William “Wali” Bickley grew up in Philadelphia and blossomed in Spain and Gibraltar, where he formed his multinational group, Inner Journey Bands. Another group he led, The Real Live Band, shared the stage with Roy Ayers. Wali has recorded and written songs for Khan Jamal. Recently, Wali has been scoring music for the theater and recording an album with Inner Journey.

Recapping Madison Rast
Were you one of the hundred or so folks who braved Winter Storm Jonas to see our latest concert? Madison Rast, Anwar Marshall, and Tim Brey played with the force of a snow squall. Rast handpicked songs by jazz titans who made the Great Migration to Philadelphia, including John Coltrane's Mister Knight and fellow North Carolinian double bassist Thelonius Monk's Monk's Dream. During the latter piece, drummer Anwar Marshall showcased flurries of notes beneath the individual solos, all while keeping that backbone.

After the covers, Madison treated listeners to an original composition—the Great Migrations suite. What was it? It was a three-movement suite based on the Great Migration within a blues framework. It mirrored the "three stages of journey: leaving home, trepidation and arrival," Rast told us. The piece opened with a drowsy, wandering bassline stuttering around stage before falling over and turning into the second movement, which featured Tim Brey's driving and propulsive piano building. And the final movement was built around a sparkling figure featuring Anwar's celestial drum washes. This reviewer couldn't help but imagine looking out ice-frosted windows, but he was also a bit swayed by the weather.

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