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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Splinter @ The Bridge - The Geordie Approach & Andy Champion

The remit of Splinter @ The Bridge is to present jazz & improvised music and last night's offering was very much at the non-jazz end of the spectrum. On a sweltering Sunday evening on Costa del Tyneside Andy Champion (electric bass & electronics) opened proceedings with a short set of solo bass improvisations.
Champion, seated, written parts at hand, made use of pedalboard loops to create a multi layered soundscape. Technique to spare, Splinter's MC visited the territory of electric bass pioneers Stanley Clarke, Jaco, Bootsy, Marcus Miller & co... On occasion a blues rock riff suggested a place could be on offer in Rory Gallagher's band - had the genial Irishman still been around. In turn, sounds were shaped from Champion's double bass repertoire. This was a considered performance resisting temptation to switch to freakout mode. A work in progress.
The Geordie Approach: Petter Frost Fadnes (alto saxophone & electronics), Chris Sharkey (guitar & electronics) & Stale Birkeland (drums & electronics). The Geordie Approach, a three piece, sees Gateshead's Chris Sharkey linking up with two Norwegians by way of LIMA (Yorkshire not Peru) to produce, in their own words, ''uncompromising...loose improvisational structures'' with ''ideas sometimes getting lost''. Petter Frost Fadnes cites his influences as ''nobody but everyone''.
The Geordie Approach sound like nobody but everyone. Pedalboards clutter the stage and a bewildering devil's brew of a sound emanates forth. Guitarist Sharkey is well known to north east audiences (On the Outside Festival, Spelk and trio VD) and he delivered yet again. Hidden behind cool shades, magician Sharkey conjured tricks at every turn; dissonance, noise, lascerating fusion, wonderful. Alto saxophonist Petter Frost Fadnes sat on a chair but this was no New Orleans old timer. He was biding his time, constructing haunting, sometimes harsh, calling signals. Rising from his seat to join the fray, the trio produced the most thrilling cacophony - alto and guitar were as one (an express train on the East Coast main line hurtled by adding to the glorious din in the upstairs room of the Bridge). Drummer Dr.Stale Birkeland, a top class player and equal contributor to the collective, utilised yet another pedalboard. The dynamic, full-on trio excursions were high points in an intriguing performance. For those with an interest in the on stage equipment this was a masterclass in the use of the pedalboard.
Russell

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