THIS SHOW was like walking through an equation — but in a way in which you began to understand just how x might = y, rather than being flummoxed by it. As the billing suggests, the group started off as a trio which morphed into a quartet, with M-Base collective co-founder, Steve Coleman, (one of pianist Vijay Iyer’s mentors and inspirations) and finally a looping, propulsive sextet — with a sound and complexity that was greater than its parts. Marcus Gilmore, the drummer, was the glue. He kept all the plates spinning, didn’t allow anything to shatter.
I’ve not seen Iyer live before — and this evening made me feel as if I still need to in a smaller setting to feel what the intimacy of a smaller ensemble would feel like. All and all though, a good way to end the Angel City Jazz Fest and try out one of the first shows for the inaugural season for the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA.