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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.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Krokofant + Horse Orchestra + Archipelago @ The Black Swan October 25

Krokofant: Jørgen Mathisen (sax); Tom Hasslan (guitar); Axel Skalstad (drums)
(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
Match and Fuse is an organisation which aims to bring bands from all over Europe to play in different countries. As an added bonus they also try and present local bands on the same bill.
This tie-in with Jazz North East and Schmazz ticked all the boxes.
Headlining were Krokofant who hail from Norway. I would describe the music as ‘Heavy Rock Jazz’.  Guitarist Hasslan could fit easily into a number of classic 70’s rock outfits such as Led Zeppelin or Deep Purple. Meanwhile, Sax player Mathisen seems to come from a far more European free jazz tradition. The 2 styles are fused together by the powerhouse drumming of Skalstad. A highly intriguing energetic set left one quite bewildered as to what they were actually witnessing but who cares? it was very enjoyable whatever the style.
Horse Orchestra: Ingimar Andersen (saxophones); Erik Kimestad Pedersen (trumpet); Petter Hängsel (trombone); Kristian Tangvik (tuba); Jeppe Zeeberg (keyboards); Nicolai Kaas Claesson (bass); Rune Lohse (drums)
Horse Orchestra are a Copenhagen based band although they are a Scandinavian alliance with members from Norway, Iceland, Sweden and Denmark. They reminded me a bit of a mini Loose Tubes.  The emphasis of the band seemed to be one of having a good time with their postmodern take on 1920’s Jazz mixed up with circus style and various other musical genres. Keyboard player Zeeberg announced the numbers with classic Scandinavian deadpan humour and the rest of the band also contributed to the general jocularity. During one number the entire brass section came to the front of the stage and maybe inspired by Edvard Munch appeared to scream rather than chant although very effective it was too.
Archipelago: Faye MacCalman (reeds); John Pope (bass); Christian Alderson (drums)
The evening began with local favourites Archipelago who seem to develop each time I see them. Tighter and rockier, although possibly lacking the rawness and wildness of previous performances, the band got proceedings off to a rollicking good start. The set included a new piece featuring MacCalman on clarinet and I look forward with eager anticipation to their continued progress.

 The final part of the evening saw the ‘Fuse’ element of promotion take over. Match and Fuse founder Dave Morecroft brought together Krokofant with the horn section from Horse Orchestra and proceeded to conduct the musicians using a ‘sound painting’ technique. What unfolded was the highlight of an already marvellous evening as Morecroft and the band conjured up a  fascinating and stimulating piece of colourful music full of bewildering rhythms and textures.
Steve H.

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