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Bebop Spoken There

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Schmazz @ The Jazz Café - Troyka/Pulcinella

Troyka: Kit Downes (keyboards); Chris Montague (guitar); Josh Blackmore (drums)
Pulcinella: Ferdinand Doumerc (reeds); Florian Demonsant (accordion); Jean-Marc Serpin (double bass); Frédéric Cavallin (drums). 
(Review by Steve H.)
A packed to the rafters Jazz Café last night witnessed a mesmerising double bill from British trio Troyka and French quartet Pulchinella in a Schmazz/ Match and Fuse collaboration. Forget the Tour De France this was the Tour de Force.
The first set was led out by Troyka featuring  returning Geordie guitar hero Chris Montague. .
Montague explained that  since childhood  he has suffered  from  Ornitholobia (fear of birds) after an unfortunate encounter  with  a dead seagull on a beach . It was this fear that inspired several  of the tunes performed. The  band really hit a groove moving through all the gears with their high energy rocky, bluesy , electroniky brand of jazz. Kit Downes on keys  and Josh Blackmore on drums blended seamlessly with Montague on guitar and loops.  The set finished to rapturous applause and I was left wondering how the next band could possibly be anything other than an anti-climax?
How wrong I was the French band Pulcinella on paper have little in common with Troyka  but they soon proved to be their equals in terms of ability to both surprise and entertain . What followed was a joy as the musical styles of Jazz, folk, tango (to name but 3) were all fused together  in unique combinations with marvellous playing from all 4 musicians soaring sax solos from Doumerc, lyrical accordion playing  by Demonsant,  bass playing accompanied by some strange gurning dancing from Serpin . Not to be outshone drummer Cavallin injected  glockenspiel and  swanee whistle additions to the mix. The music ebbed and flowed it was like being  taken for a  breath taking trip on a Wurlitzer (sic).  At the end of the set the crowd rose to applaud the Gallic warriors .  C’est magnifique indeed..
But if that was not enough a septet was formed to conclude the night’s proceedings as both bands joined together to perform a Montague piece Oliver Reed  dedicated to one of the last great hell raisers.
As the enthralled audience filtered out of the building they were accompanied rather inappropriately by Weather Report’s  Birdbland (sic)  on the PA a pertinent reminder maybe  of just how far Jazz has moved on .    
Steve H.

1 comment :

Lance said...

Dead Seagulls? You're right Steve, jazz has certainly moved "on"!

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