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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, March 28, 2011

12 Points! @ Gateshead International Jazz Festival - Sunday Match 27

 12 Points! is an idea brewed in Ireland and exported across Europe. The remit is to provide a platform for ''new jazz'' performers from the length and breadth of the continent. Some would, no doubt, take issue with the very idea that the musicians heard in the Northen Rock Foundation Hall were jazz artists but this isn't the time to discuss the eternal question 'What is jazz?'
The three one-set performances were of an exceptionally high standard. Donkey Monkey is/are a duo of French pianist Eve Risser and Japanese drummer (French resident) Yuko Oshima. Risser proved to be a blindingly good pianist possessing awesome technique with something of the classical conservatoire about her wedded to genuine improvising skills and an oblique take on the jazz piano tradition (elements of stride were fleetingly evident). French impressionism and French New Wave (think of the soundtrack to many a Goddard or Truffaut film) were at her fingertips. Prepared piano excursions broke out from time to time and drummer Oshima was all power then delicate. Oshima's composition Is It a Flower? seemed to be a better question by far than ''Is it jazz?''
Solo vocal performances can be daunting - for performer and audience. Mari Kvien Brunvoll showed immense bravery in seating cross-legged with an array of electonic aids at hand to distort and transform the voice. Beguiling, beautiful, beats and bhangra. A gig beyond categorisation, simlpy exquisite.
Last but by no means least up stepped trio VD to give one of the great performances of the weekend. Preparation for the gig took the form of Sunday lunch at guitarist Chris Sharkey' mother's home a few minutes from the venue. The boys must have dined well on thos Yorkshire puds . Alto saxophonist Christophe de Bezenac played some searing lines which were reciprocated by Sharkey and in the middle of them was the brilliant drummer Chris Bussey. The power, the volume, the musicianship - it was quite sensational and not for the faint hearted. 12 Points! scored ten out of ten.
 Russell.

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