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Bebop Spoken There

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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.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thundercat @ O2 Glasgow - November 14

If the West Coast Get Down is a modern-day P Funk, Thundercat is clearly Bootsy Collins, though on stage he looked more like some glitter rock throwback. While all the P Funk bands essentially played funk, there was inevitably loads of jazz, oodles of rock and no small amount of silliness, which belied the undeniable musicality of it all.
The West Coast Get Down, of which Thundercat is an affiliate member, incorporates hip-hop, which is more or less equal parts P Funk James Brown, street funk, reggae DJing and, apparently Gil Scott Heron, jazz, and modern production techniques.
It's an oversimplification to accuse Thundercat of producing pop-funk but it's essentially song-based music but there's plenty of jazz in there too, though more the fusion varieties, rock and funk. Many of the songs went into very intricate freaked out free-form jams which hung together as if by magic. The drummer operated at full pelt throughout and the keyboardist wasn't far behind, with a violinist getting sounds prog rock and Jazz-rock fiddlers could never have imagined in the early seventies.
The man played a six string bass and also stretched it way beyond Larry Graham, Bootsy, Stanley Clark and Jaco, but with the funk only coming through intermittently, and I thought a relentless get down would have been nice.
His voice was actually better live than on record, especially on Marvin Gaye style forced falsetto, though apart from 'awesome' and his increasing use of the f word, I couldn't really understand anything, either spoken or sang, which seems to be a feature of O2s.
My favourite Thundercat track is Oh sheit it's X and I was beginning to think it isn't rated by the faithful when he played it last before returning for an encore of two more songs.
The place was full of studenty types, too cool for the latest guitar bands, and a few oldies desperately trying to hang on to some long lost semblance of cool. though we managed to find some seats with a direct view of the stage.
You travel to Hull to see an artist many consider one of the worlds leading guitarists and one of the greatest living jazz artists, and you travel to Glasgow to see the latest 'new hope' but a better night than either was had on the doorstep by two quartets of local alleycats paying tribute to a pair of giants.
That New Dawn I still live in hope of hasn't quite broken yet.
Steve T.

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