The free jazz niche is narrow but deep, its supporters few but ardent and passionate. It is difficult to convey in words what the arrival of Quinn’s in Beacon has meant to this vibrant community of fans and players. The converted luncheonette on Main Street routinely brings in some of the biggest names and reputations from the experimental jazz world, wowing audiences with alien improvisations and ecstasies.
Implicit in all of the Monday-night action at Quinn’s is a friendly message to outsiders, an olive branch of sorts extended to those who have gotten the wrong message about the free fringe of jazz: This music is not designed to estrange and frighten you; it is often beautiful, simple, universal and in many ways more, not less, user-friendly than the in-club conventions of conservatory jazz. Try it, in person, and you might like it. Both the lure and the caveat: This stuff really is free, and you never know what you are going to get.
Here’s a great one to try: Jazz multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter (reed sideman of choice for Yo la Tengo and Thurston Moore, among many others) joins forces with free jazz bassist and bandleader William Parker (Cecil Taylor, Peter Brötzmann) and the Italian drummer and bandleader Federico Ughi for an evening of carefully blown minds on Monday, September 28 at 8 p.m. There is no cover charge, but donations are gratefully accepted.
Quinn’s is located at 330 Main Street in Beacon. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/quinnsbeacon.