Anyone who saw his ninjas-gone-manga extravaganza Deadly She-Wolf Assassin at Armageddon! knows that baritone saxophonist, composer, and bandleader Fred Ho is one of jazz’s great pop-art conceptualists. Ho, who watched fight footage while enduring chemotherapy during the early years of a continuing battle with cancer, combines martial arts, pugilism, and the power of confidence in The Sweet Science Suite: A Scientific Soul Music Honoring of Muhammad Ali, a choreographed meditation on the heavyweight champ’s (reluctant) political activism and post-retirement humanitarian activities. Directed by Youn Jung Kim with choreography by Emmanuel Brown, The Sweet Science Suite (an earlier version of which premiered at the Guggenheim in 2011) features Ho’s 18-piece Green Monster Big Band performing punchy, complex grooves (a swinging 5/4 in double time, anyone?) and rich George Russell-inspired harmonies.
Fri., Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m., 2013
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 9, 2013