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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, September 22, 2014

Jazz North East & Splinter @ the Bridge present The Dors. Sunday Sept. 22

Christophe de Bezenac (sax & electronics); Chris Sharkey (guitar); Eve Risser (keyboards & vocals); Yuko Oshima (drums); Paul Miller (audiovisual projections).
(Review by Steve H/photo courtesy of Ken Drew.)
A jazz hating friend of mine has just visited New Orleans where he encountered the music in its birth place and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the experience. I patronizingly informed him that the sort of Jazz he was listening to belonged  in a museum. Quite where Sunday night’s performance at The Bridge Hotel ‘belonged’ to was anybody’s guess.
The upstairs room was kitted out in such a way as to resemble a cross between Miss Haversham’s  dining room and a venue for an early Halloween party. The room was in darkness and suspended from the ceiling in various strategic places were white drapes which were used as multiple screens to display the  dazzling audiovisual  art of Paul Miller. The stage itself looked like a section of the control room at  the Cern Hadron Collider  littered  with   computers, keyboards and miles of cables. The band took the stage and proceeded to perform an unbroken set of manic electronic experimental music accompanied by a kaleidoscopic interactive light show. Keyboards, vocals, saxophone and guitar were all embedded in a constant computerized whirlpool of beats and sci fi effects. The brutal and ferocious drumming of Oshima was a particular highlight. Personally, I feel this type of music would be far more appropriate if staged at somewhere like The Tusk  festival (held next month at The Star and Shadow in Newcastle http://tuskfestival.com/). It was an exhilarating experience but I am not entirely convinced that I was attending a jazz gig. Do four musicians frantically improvising primarily with electricity constitute jazz no matter what the eventual output sounds like ? As a piece of modern performance art it was commendable but for those attending with no prior knowledge of what to expect it may have left them at best bemused and at worst misled. This gig really did push the boundaries even of this most eclectic  art form.  Perhaps if it had been billed as Frankensteinian Punk Jazz meets Kraftwerk Electronica no one could have complained if it didn’t quite transport them form Newcastle  to New Orleans 
Steve H.

2 comments :

Lance said...

Ah shit! I missed it!

Russell said...

Great review Steve. One thing rankles...your suggestion that New Orleans jazz resides in museums. No it doesn't, it is alive and well, played all over the world from Preservation Hall to the Oxbridge Hotel in Stockton on Tees (the New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band, Thursday nights). Is swing dead? Nope - you should have been at Hoochie Coochie on Sunday. Is bop dead? Nope - Jazz Café last Friday. Is free jazz dead. Nope - it just smells funny. Jazz Lives!

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