Hear that roar on the LES? The tribe-gathering has begun. Like the music it serves to its fans, the Vision Festival spills forward with a frenzied energy for 11 days—a stretch of time that launches more than 50 events, in this, its 15th season of heralding free jazz’s latest offshoots. Like any well-planned confab, the self-sustaining party stresses variety. The excursive piano work of Muhal Richard Abrams, the sharp specifics of Ned Rothenberg, a five-bass eulogy to Sirone, conductions led by Kidd Jordan and Roy Campbell, panel discussions on the gut-punch of the “new economy,” and poetry galore. It may have woolly expressionism at its center, but these days, the avant assemblage is about breadth. One particular evening that boasts a fierce German drummer, royal SoCal trumpeter, and bold Chicago nu-boppers (along with local luminaries) tells it all. Even the freak-folk Akron/Family earned an invite. Here’s to open arms.

June 24-30, 2010