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Bebop Spoken There

More from Jazz Monthly:

John Postgate: "Oscar Peterson played a good solo in 1954..." - (Jazz Monthly August 1960)

Bill Evans: "A composer writes something, and an orchestra interprets it--he spends maybe six months writing 10 minutes of music, but a jazz musician spends 10 minutes of playing 10 minutes of music, and he performs it himself". - (Jazz Monthly July1960).

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Today Saturday October 21

Afternoon

???????

Evening

Tees Valley Jazzmen - Sadberge Village Hall, 5 Beacon Grange Park, Sadberge, Darlington DL2 1TW. 7:30pm. £9.00. inc cheese & biscuits, BYOB.

Mat Maneri/Evan Parker/Lucian Ban: Sounding Tears - Sage Gateshead. 7:45pm. £13.50.

The Exiles - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8:00pm. £5.00. Line-up: Dave Hignett (trumpet), Niall Armstrong (tenor sax), Mike Cunningham (piano), Hazel Hanley (double bass) & Paul ‘Sid’ Wight (drums).

George Shovlin & the Radars - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music 2017 @ Black Swan Bar & Venue - September 30

(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).
Julien Desprez took to the stage armed with a guitar and pedals and went straight into what I guess you could call an extended riff, lasting sufficiently long enough to make me wonder whether it would be the whole piece or even set. Europeans don't seem to have the same rush to get to the hook that we do, perhaps it’s a result of our preoccupation with pop music that we seem to do it better than the rest of the world.
Suddenly! he began striking the guitar intermittently, creating an explosion of sound. Long-suffering but eternally patient guitarist observer Mrs T joked he has anger management issues but another lady admitted to actually being a little scared. We were taken on a journey in sound utilising the full arsenal available to a modern day guitarist. He was up and down out of his seat like Westlife through a string of big key changes, when resolution was finally offered, it ended just as it had begun.
Is it Jazz? Is it music or just sound? Is all sound music? Was he playing guitar or could it just as easily have been a keyboard? Or a computer? Does it matter?
Artists generally say they prefer a response - any response - rather than indifference. They want us to love it but would rather we hate it than have nil response. Job done.
Next up, Schnellertollermeier (Andi Schnellmann (bass), Manuel Troller (guitar), David Meier (drums)a straightforward power trio, right? A bit more for the average music listener to hang on to. Very much a group effort, so more Cream than Hendrix, with the powerhouse drummer, obligatory in Progressive Jazz Rock. 
At times reminiscent of Discipline era King Crimson, there were lots of layers of sound, complex poly-rhythms, some bowed bass and much repetition, giving it an industrial feel, perhaps drawing on kraut rock or math rock, subgenres anathema to my field of expertise, maybe because they deliberately jettison any claim to soulfulness, so crucial to the tradition of Black American Music.
Rather than any Hendrix type blowout, the guitar sound remained more indie pop. A bit 'punk' my wife claimed, a major trigger word for me, but this wasn't punk at all, this was real. The crowds watching the pop/rock guitar covers band in the pub up the road, or Elvis with Nirvana at the 02 Academy would have done themselves a favour visiting the Swan instead of deluding themselves theirs was an act of rebellion.

Guitar joined by sax on the surface seemed more accessible than solo guitar but, when saxophonist Mette Rasmussen joined Julien Desprez, this proved the most difficult and challenging set of the evening.
Think Ornette and James Blood Ulmer on superskunk, turned up to twelve and furious over something. Steve H argued vociferously she's up with the best saxophonists he's ever seen anywhere ever and I have no argument with the level of virtuosity, but it's never enough on its own. Just when you thought they'd finished, they came back fiercer, faster, furiouser.
Not the sort of thing I would listen to more than once, but maybe that's the point.

Many, young and old, clearly couldn't get enough of this stuff but, those of us for whom this wasn't an entirely comfortable zone, Troyka (Chris Montague (guitar), Kit Downes (keyboards), Joshua Blackmore (drums) proved a welcome respite.
Not that their music is in any way straightforward or easily accessible. Lots of funky, syncopated drumming, lots of Progressive Jazz Rock and more pedals than a tandem tour, with weird sounds coming from guitar and keyboards alongside a warming approximation of a classic Hammond organ sound. If the earlier band were more Trio of Doom, that would make Troyka more akin to Lifetime.

So, much to cherish for anyone who likes John McLaughlin and/or Tony WIlliams and something for Jaco and Larry Young people too, Troyka also reminding me of post Jaco Weather Report at times.
Some had the night of their lives, others didn't. Some were sufficiently intrigued for it to be essential, others weren't. 

2 comments :

  1. I had been looking forward to this gig from when it was announced Julien Desprez being one my favourite guitarists and Mette Rasmussen one being one of my favourite saxophonists and I certainly wasn't disappointed by either performer. I still stand by my hyperbole of the evening about how great I think the pair are. The opening solo set by Desprez was so dynmamic and creative that it did disturb my friend but the excitement of having no idea about what was going to happen next was for me exhillirating. As for Schnellertollermeier they were more Swiss rock and roll rather than Jelly Roll. Troyka had the disadvantage of coming on after the amazing Desprez/Rasmussen set so it took a while to adjust their stuff but a few minutes I managed to retune and enjoyed the rest of the set immensely

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great - some discussion.
    I remember I used to play Dancing Queen (my wifes of course) after Tranes 57 mins of My Favourite Things, 2 tracks off Judy Mowatts Black Woman after Petrushka, and Spice Girls after Ravel.
    I guess you do it in reverse.

    ReplyDelete

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About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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