Guitarist Torn will be at Storyville Coffee and Instant Composers Pool Orchestra will be at the Royal Room.
New York guitarist David Torn and Amsterdam’s Instant Composers Pool Orchestra — both in Seattle this week — walk under the jazz banner but at decidedly exotic edges of the parade.
Torn (pictured), who has not appeared in Seattle in 20 years, uses the guitar as an electronic sound generator as much as an instrument with pluckable strings. Though Torn has been an ECM label stalwart for three decades, he has not enjoyed a lot of popular success. But this may be Torn’s historical moment, now that electronic music has penetrated the general consciousness.
His most recent album, the solo effort “Only Sky,” is a work of delectable beauty and logic that ranges through pastoral tone poems evoking clouds, wind and sky; twanging country memories; searing, dramatic blues-rock throbs; and clanking industrial noise.
8 p.m. Sunday and Monday, May 17-18 at Storyville Coffee, 94 Pike St., #34, Seattle; $25 (206-780-5777 or brownpapertickets.com).
7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at the Royal Room, 5000 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle; $10-$20 (206-906-9920 or theroyalroomseattle.com).
Torn plays two solo concerts at Storyville Coffee at the Pike Place Market, which has been presenting occasional shows since last July. The venue does not have an elevated stage and accommodates only 70 (the last 15 tickets are for stools and standing room). Sunday night is sold out.
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Thanks to the generous support of the Dutch government and an enduring fan base around the world, the Instant Composers Pool (ICP) Orchestra has endured nearly half a century and still features one of its two founders, drummer Han Bennink (pianist Misha Mengelberg no longer tours).
Rooted in free jazz and the theatrical avant-garde, the 10-piece ensemble plays intricately composed works featuring estimable soloists such as Ab Baars and Michael Moore (reeds), Guus Janssen (piano), Tristan Honsinger (cello) and Wolter Wierbos (trombone), as well as sprees of jaunty group improv sprinkled with dry whimsy.
At a January performance in New York, the band skittered through a joyously iconoclastic take on the Kansas City classic “Moten Swing”; a sendup of a stiff conductor; an elephant-roaring trombone episode; and a lovely traditional piece featuring viola.
The key? Expect the unexpected.
David Torn: 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday, May 17-18 at Storyville Coffee, 94 Pike St., #34, Seattle; $25 (206-780-5777 or brownpapertickets.com).
ICP Orchestra: 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at the Royal Room, 5000 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle; $10-$20 (206-906-9920 or theroyalroomseattle.com).