The Bell House is a very cool somewhat newish music venue owned by the Union Hall/Floyd crew. It's located in the same block of repurposed industrial Brooklyn No Man's Land that also houses IBeam. This was an event for Chris Speed's Skirl Records, with brief sets by four bands, each presenting a different facet of the current scene. No bocce here, but great sound -- a titch louder than your usual jazz hit but enjoyably so -- clear, balanced, exciting.
Briggan Kraus played a fully improvised (or "fully improvised-sounding," at any rate) trio set with Ikue Mori and Jim Black, which tended towards the introspective and textural, with occasional bursts of fractured free-rock energy.
Mary Halvorson and Jessica Pavone's longstanding duo (they actually performed immediately before us on our very first gig, back at CB's almost four years ago now) remains haunting and wonderfully elusive -- too spiky to be new-artsong-pop, and too unabashedly melodic to fit most people's notions of what avant-jazz is supposed to sound like.
Curtis Hasslebring's latest edition of The New Mellow Edwards (this one with Chris Speed, Trevor Dunn, and Ches Smith) brought both whimsy (including a Casio keyboard interlude) and swagger to Hasslebring's ambitious long-form architecture.
The closer was the trio from Andrew D'Angelo's Skadra Degis -- D'Angelo, Trevor Dunn, and Jim Black -- which he has christened "Gay Disco," after that record's closing track. Andrew mentioned they were headed into the studio to record a followup, which is great news. Andrew's playing is as compellingly visceral as ever, and Dunn and Black are the perfect foils for his knotty, tightly-focused tunes.