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Monday, February 28, 2011

HAQ @ Splinter @ The Bridge. February 28

Sam Andreae (tenor saxophone), Anton Hunter (guitar), Finlay Panter (drums) & Eero Tikkanen (double bass). Manchester based HAQ arrived at the Bridge Hotel in the middle of a Jazz Services' sponsored tour. The four piece opened with myriad influences bouncing round the upstairs jazz room: Acoustic Ladyland, Trio VD, John Zorn, noise, punk, thrash and more.
Composed tunes with much space to blow, the first set was over and done in a trice with Walking Walking Falling the stand out number. All four musicians contributed charts with one or two tunes requiring the dots to be laid out in front of them such was the on the road writing activity of the band.
The second set was a longer affair with a variety of tunes heard. Sam Andreae's tenor playing has elements of post Coltrane intensity and nu punk attitude. There was also a lyrical side to his playing with knowing, playful references to cool lounge jazz material although this didn't last long before he returned to full on thrash mode.
Drummer Finlay Panter played it loud (hear that crack on the snare!), he played it loud with mallets and was tempted to try the same using brushes! Tenor and drums made the noise, bass and guitar less so. Finnish bassist Eero Tikkanen struggled to be heard, particularly in the first set and guitarist Anton Panter was from the quiet, undemonstrative end of the spectrum populated by the likes of Bill Frisell and Joe Morris.
A humourous punky tango number with brief Getzian tenor, a Panter composition (White), a Hunter tune (Pope) and one of the highlights of the night - Kappale Kaksi - rounded off a great set. Russell.

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