Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
The music of Yotchk'o Seffer defies categorization. Appearing Monday night at Blues Alley in his U.S. debut (he also appeared at the Rogue and Jar yesterday and the One Step Down tomorrow and Friday), he demonstrated that the boundaries that separate different styles of music are not immutable.
Seffer, a Hungarian refugee living in Paris, began a set on piano with sharp, staccato phrases of an angular construction similar to that of modern classical music. Francois Laiteau added a surging jazz beat and bassist David Kasler played a low, distorted bass. The effect was like Max Roach meeting Bela Bartok by way of the English rock group, Cream.
Later, Seffer played a composition for solo tenor sax that was dedicated to John Coltrane. Slow, bluesy theme lines gave way to savage flurries of notes that resembled the master saxophonist's work in the mid-'60s.
The final work featured Seffer's sax set against a dizzying collage of taped sounds that swirled to a crescendo and ended with the subtle voicings of a piano.
Yotchk'o Seffer proves that the power of music is in the sound, not the labels, and that classical, rock and jazz are not necessarily adversaries.