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Bebop Spoken There

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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.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ayanna - Schmazz @ The Cluny.

Ayanna (vcl/cello), Fraser Fitfield (sop/ various low whistles/pipes etc.) Robert Mitchell (pno).
An expressive, captivating voice, personality, stage presence, a voice that brings to mind Joni Mitchell - rich and vibrant - and a full sonorous sound on cello that's Ayanna.
Add piano wiz Robert Mitchell and piping, low whistling saxophonist Fitfield it is little wonder that The Cluny was exceptionally well attended - I detected but one empty seat!.
Some reflective piano from Robert led to an entrance by Fraser Fitfield playing the small pipes as he meandered through the hall to the stage - shades of the Rollins at Ronnie's legend!
Ayanna, attractive with an air of fragility, took centre stage with a series of originals that displayed her ability - not just as a singer and cellist but also as a composer. It was gorgeous but, by the end of the set, I was ready for a break - too much beauty and not enough beast.
Robert Mitchell played soulfully with only the slightest hint of the Kalishnikov-like bursts of rapid fire for which he is known. Tonight it was his melodic/explorative side to the fore.
Despite his earlier entry playing the pipes and some nice work on a curved soprano (sax!) it was on the un-keyed low whistle that Fraser really shone producing a sound as mellow as any concert flute.
The second set saw more of the same and the ensemble deserved the rapturous applause at the end.
For myself, perhaps a little more variety of tempo would have helped but hey! don't get me wrong I enjoyed every minute of it and, if I'd been going to New York in, I think Ayanna said, October I'd be up on the second balcony of Harlem's Apollo Theatre rooting for the girl!
Photos.
Lance.

2 comments :

Serious said...

Thanks for the great review! Sounds like a brilliant end to the tour.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lance,

Having just come back from holiday, I want to add some comments on three gigs I saw before I went away as they were all memorable in different ways.

Firstly, the Ayanna gig was sensational. The combination of her voice (which seemed to me more Cassandra Wilson / Mahalia Jackson than Joni Mitchell) and the constantly interesting variety of the musical accompaniment created something that was unique. I don’t think I’ve heard a mixture of uileann pipes, low whistle and plucked cello in a jazz context before. I could have happily sat through another whole show. You can find the beast in many places, but such beauty is rare.

Another was the Jo Harrop session at the Cherrytree restaurant, which was a wonderful presentation of the jazz singer’s art (with a great band as well). Did she sing ‘Give me a pigfoot and a bottle of beer’, Lance, or was that the menu? I think it’s worth saying that the Cherrytree has now become the place to go for jazz on a Monday night – it’s like Pizza Express in London, except with much better food.

The third was, of course, the tribute to Chris Yeates in the Corner House, which was an incredible collection of jazz musicians. The last group was particularly electrifying and when they were urging each other further and further in the choruses of Anthropology, it was a bit like the scenes Jack Kerouac described in his books of the atmosphere in New York jazz clubs when Bird and Dizzy were playing:

‘...hearing a wild tenorman bawling horn across the way, going ‘EE-YAH! EE-YAH! EE-YAH!’ and hands clapping to the beat and folks yelling ‘Go, go, go!’....the tenorman was blowing at the peak of a wonderfully satisfactory free idea, a rising and falling riff that went from ‘ee-yah!’ to a crazier ‘ee-de-lee-yah!’ and blasted along to the rolling crash of butt-scarred drums...
“On the Road’

All fantastic stuff!

JC

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