Savion Glover opens his mouth before tapping out one of his mad rhythms, and the evening’s surprises begin. His vocal “tss ta tssk” shifts to a steady rhythm in his right foot—a hi-hat swing—as he sings “The Way You Look Tonight.” Enormously present for us, alone with a five-man band, Glover offers depth and richness. Nearly imperceptible toe drops precede a frenzy heading into Coltrane; he sneaks in “Jingle Bells,” hits again, and revels in chugs across the stage. Many indicators exist (including the show’s title and a stolen joke) that Gregory Hines is on his mind, as are several masters quoted in the solos composing Act I.
Works for his company, Ti Dii, are tightand sophisticated, though rather gender delineated. The a cappella bits stand out: one piece performed by four ladies, the other spotlighting Marshall Davis Jr. working his mentor Steve Condos’s minimalist rudiments. While the music generally sits in the same cool groove, Glover’s rhythms go for nuance and refined tonalities, complex in their simplicity. We know by now how rapidly his artistry evolves, but what always resonates is Glover’s unabashed sense of self; at the moment it’s in his voice—literally—and his ‘ography.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 23, 2003