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Today

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.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

CD Review: Ben Bryden - Glasgow Dreamer - The Music of Ivor Cutler

Ben Bryden (tenor, harmonium), Reinier Baas (guitar, piano, harmonium), Mark Schilders (drums), Tom Berkmann (bass).
(Review by Steve T)
According to the notes this is Indie Jazz and I may have been better prepared had I read it first and may not be the ideal person to review it.
The instrumentation is largely sax, guitar, bass and drums which several sources have told me is the new frontline of choice instead of trumpet and sax, which may be bad news for trumpeters and pianists. I personally think the sax and guitar play well off each other and I like the space created as the guitar switches from comping to soloing. 
The first couple of tracks put this to good use with strong melodies and the leader has a distinctive tone reminding me of someone but I can't think who, so if anyone hears it and has any ideas, please help me out.
For the most part the indie comes from the guitarist who adopts a jingly jangly sound favoured by mid-sixties beat groups before Clapton and Hendrix changed everything, and was revived post punk-rock while musicianship was still scorned which has mercifully receded in recent years.
No question of his ability, though his runs occasionally seem predictable, but the sound actually works very well.
On track three The Meadows Go we get the indie style as well as the sound and this is where the problem starts for me. I don't have a problem with fusion and believe all music is fusion at some level. Nor do I necessarily have a problem where the respective musics seem incompatible or even contradictory. Nevertheless, this didn't work for me, not least because I believe indie bands are more interested in creating media myths by constructing a perception of difference from other pop groups deemed less 'authentic'.
The next few tracks continue as before but the introduction of a harmonium, sounding like an accordion, on track eight 74 to Dumfries left me somewhat bewildered.
Apart from the two tracks, there's some good Jazz on offer and anybody into indie, Britpop, punk-rock or even sixties guitar groups may find it of interest, but it's not for me.
Steve T.
Glasgow Dreamer - The Music of Ivor Cutler - samples/buy.

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