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Bebop Spoken There

Kenny Davern: "Now I like traditional jazz, but I don't like Dixieland per se, and the reason is that there's not enough ensemble playing or interplay." - (Melody Maker September 22, 1979)

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11,807 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1047 of them this year alone and, so far, 74 this month (Sept. 28).

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IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON.

OCTOBER

THURSDAY 1

Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

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Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00 -10:00pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish. CANCELLED! Back on October 8

Smoove & Turrell (Unplugged) - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 7:00pm (6:00pm doors). £25.00. Limited capacity, book at www.hoochiecoochie.co.uk.

FRIDAY 2

Smoove & Turrell (Unplugged) - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 7:00pm (6:00pm doors). £25.00. Limited capacity, book at www.hoochiecoochie.co.uk. SOLD OUT!

Lee Bates - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm-10:00pm. Free (donations). Limited capacity. A Blind Pig Blues Club event.

SATURDAY 3

Emma Wilson Blues Band - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7DN. 8:00pm. Limited capacity, in the first instance register for the live stream (£5.45.) at: www.jazzcoop.

SUNDAY 4

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. Tel: 0191 691 7090. Free.

Gerry Richardson Quintet - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7DN. 8:00pm. Limited capacity, in the first instance register for the live stream (£5.45.) at: www.jazzcoop. The band’s 25th anniversary celebrations!

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

KAPOK @ Jazz Café - November 28

Morris Kliphuis (French Horn, cornet, synth), Timon Koomen (guitars), Remco Menting (percussion, vibraphone)
(Review/photos by Ken Drew) 
Kapok has an unusual line-up for a trio playing jazz. They have a principal line-up of French horn, guitar and drums, but with the addition of synth, vibraphone and second guitar.
The Dutch band are on a 5 venue tour of the UK, and Newcastle (JNE) was 4th on the tour. Formed in 2011 they soon established themselves as one of the most original and exciting live bands in the Netherlands the through their stylistic versatility.  Jazz is at the heart of everything they do, but their performances segue seamlessly through indie, metal, hip-hop and Americana.

Horn player Morris Kliphuis, guitarist Timon Koomen and drummer Remco Menting last year decided to change their sound. They felt that the chemistry between the trio worked well, so they didn’t add extra musicians but decided instead to add extra instruments. Menting acquired a vibraphone, Koomen brought in a baritone guitar and Kliphuis added synthesiser to his horn and cornet.  Having recently explored new approaches, they build around long mesmerising lines, unusual sound combinations, and the subtle use of electronics to broaden the palette – all of this and more being evident tonight.

The first set was a revelation to first-time listeners of the band, like myself. First tune had such a quiet introduction with perfect harmonies from each player, and a nice melody initially on guitar to introduce the piece, passing over to synth, then cornet (Kliphuis on both) using a subtle and perfectly placed FX (echo) to complete the picture.  All three weaving in and out of the melody, along with sound bytes and improvised segments, and Menting initially on vibes moved onto drums for a brief solo percussion part.  Kliphuis moving again from keys to cornet then onto French horn which took the lead. Then a breakout section - very rhythmic drumming increasing in intensity with guitar & synth not far behind and ending with Koomen’s solo. 30 minutes for the first piece! What an introduction by the band - full of dynamics, prepared riffs and melodies, and a fair sprinkling of improv too. 
Next a gentler piece but with more improvisation. French horn intro leading to guitar solo with a gentle accompaniment from Menting. Then a gentle duo section with French horn and guitar with percussion eventually making his presence known through the sounds of running water (shells on drums) - which were chillingly realistic!  French horn now prominent, using FX to produce a higher register 'organ pipe' sound but still to the underlying sound of running water.  Then with the French horn centre stage, becomes increasingly bluesy, leading to cornet and then Menting on vibes to close the piece. What a superb combination of sounds!

After a short interval came The Missing Link - an early piece which came together nicely in the bands early formation, and was recorded on their first album with a Dutch string quartet
A nice long tune with good interaction between French horn and guitar plus lively drums!   Then a change -  a tune with a groove!  Initially, a French horn solo (played with FX, reminding me of Dennis Rollins' lively t-bone sound, despite it coming from a French horn), adding guitar, then into an improvised section followed by guitar focussing on the groove to the end.

Then the third tune, with guitar introduction accompanied by vibes (bowed and struck) revealing a simple but effectively beguiling soundscape. Then in time, slowly fading back into the rhythmic introduction - with a jaunty tune on French horn. Nice!  And finally, the last piece Ho Hop - another enjoyable piece with a groove.  Rapturous applause led to an encore.  A fast-paced tune, lively & bouncy with main tune led by Kliphuis on French Horn, leading to a tour de force from Menting on drums. Great ending!!  Their enthusiasm and dedication on stage is rewarded by excitement and appreciation in the audience.

Overall.  These young musicians really know their instruments and exactly how they want to sound, moving effortlessly between written and improvised sections, covering a nice range of styles and moods too.  The performance was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience, including two passers-by who chanced taking a seat for the second set, and left uplifted, singing (almost) the praises of this remarkable young band. 

Ken.

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