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Bebop Spoken There

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Saturday, December 04, 2010

Ig Henneman's Kindred Spirits @ Gateshead Old Town Hall, December 3rd

Ig Henneman (viola), Ab Baars (tenor saxophone, clarinet & shakuhachi), Marilyn Lerner (piano), Lori Freedman (clarinet & bass clarinet), Axel Dorner (trumpet) & Wilbert de Joode (double bass).
Jazz gigs cancelled here, there and everywhere yet Jazz North East's On the Outside concert was a case of the show goes on.
The dreadful weather was a concern with the musicians travelling across the Pennines from a gig in Liverpool the previous evening and some members of the audience making the journey from way up in Northumberland.
The music of Ig Henneman's band was far from jazz, it was from the world of the contemporary (classical) composer. Henneman is on a European tour to celebrate her sixty fifth birthday and a quarter century as a composer. She assembled first class, like-minded musicians and called the sextet Kindred Spirits. Dutch, German and Canadian, the band was very much about the ensemble with solos, as such, not in the script. Indeed the written parts revealed the composer's interest in quiet, micro-tonal shifts in the music, demanding concentrated listening by the musicians and audience alike.
The band leader's long time associate Ab Baars played a variety of reeds. Standing alongside him was clarinetist Lori Freedman. The Canadian was, perhaps, the one player on the stand who almost escaped the strictures of the compositions; one sensed a desire in her to stand out front and blow a few choruses but no, this wasn't the right time or the right gig. Bassist Wilbert de Joode, such a hit at the major On the Outside Festival a couple of years ago, was class personified. So too pianist Marilyn Lerner. All of the musicians were obliged to play their parts and be respectful of the ensemble sound. Henneman herself was anything but an overt leader (she plays in string quartets and it showed). German trumpeter Axel Dorner, a recent recruit to the sextet, was given little space to play and it would be good to hear him in a different context. The evening wasn't one for the jazzer but for those there on the night it was well worth making the effort to get to the Old Town Hall.
Jazz North East's next concert promotion is in early January at the same venue. Terry Seabrook has assembled an all star band to play the music of Miles Davis' Kind of Blue era. With a line-up including Alan Barnes and Spike Wells this should be some night. Put it in your diary now - Saturday 15th January 2011. Russell.

1 comment :

George Milburn said...

Liked your considerate report Russell and, by the Third Stream sound of it, wish I'd been there. Look forward to discussing the microtonal aspects. Is "not for jazzers" just a tad presumptuous?!

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