Thursday, May 5, 2016

Recording: Saint Dirt Elementary School

Artist: Saint Dirt Elementary School

Songs: Seven Minutes in Heaven + What Are You Thinking When You're Kissing

Recorded at The Music Gallery, April 29, 2016.

Saint Dirt Elementary School - Seven Minutes in Heaven

Saint Dirt Elementary School - What Are You Thinking When You're Kissing

In a talk before the show, composer/founder Myk Freedman told the story of how the band originally came into its Tranzac residency by taking over the "ragtime" night — and the logic behind that leap is as easy to understand as is the fact that the old-guard crowd on hand didn't think they were proper at all. But the notion of a modern-day ragtime band, with a conception of improvisation based on group interaction more than backline-plus-soloists gets to the heart of what they are doing.

Saint Dirt Elementary School's Tranzac-fuelled heyday was before I was paying close attention to such things and I mostly knew it as a previous way-station for several musicians I'd more familiar with in subsequent projects. But despite the fact that Freedman moved from T.O. to NYC more than a decade ago, the band has remained an occasionally-ongoing concern, regrouping during Freedman's summer visits home and on special occasions such as this fifteenth-anniversary celebration. Pulling tunes from his songbooks, the band played a set focused on its older material, including these two tunes from what was a sort of "kissing" suite.

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