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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, March 23, 2017

Archipelago @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University - March 23

Faye MacCalman (tenor saxophone & clarinet), John Pope (electric bass) & Christian Alderson (drums)
(Review/photo by Russell)
And now for something a little bit different…’skronky garage-jazz’. The Western classical tradition, folk music and an occasional jazz concert is the usual bill of fayre at a term-time King’s Hall lunchtime concert. Archipelago, the Tyneside-based trio of Faye MacCalman, John Pope and Christian Alderson incorporate MacCalman’s ‘collage-inspired compositions’, Alderson’s interest in ‘avant-rock to jazz to noise’ and Pope’s ‘lifelong engagement with jazz, funk, rock music, pop-culture and mysticism’ resulting in a mélange of ideas and sounds.

MacCalman blew into one of two mics – one when playing tenor, the other clarinet, with her tenor way down in the mix for much of the hour-long performance – only Craters, the set’s final number, belatedly heard MacCalman to best effect. Billed as ‘reeds/primary composer’, MacCalman didn’t stretch out as much as in some of her previous performances around town, Alderson’s kit with the add-on arsenal of the restless improvising musician and Pope’s pedal-laden performance focused the eye, if not the ear, of the audience on two-thirds of Archipelago. MacCalman’s audible clarinet playing – particularly on Weightless – revealed a rich tone either side of explosive outbursts from bass and drums.
Archipelago’s debut EP is available as a download via Bandcamp, and the trio’s album launch gig is scheduled for Newcastle Arts Centre’s Black Swan basement venue on Tuesday 30 May. 

Russell.

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