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COVID-19

In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

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.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Tori Freestone Trio @ The Black Swan Arts Centre - June 13

Tori Freestone (tenor sax/violin/voice); Dave Manington (bass); Tim Giles (drums).
(Review by Lance/ Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).

When respected jazz writers such as John Fordham (Guardian) and Chris Kilsby (BSH) wax eloquent about a band/artist then it goes without saying they (band/artist) must be checked out in person, such was my task for today (yesterday). Not an unpleasant task, I hasten to add, although at times it touched on the outer limits of my comfort zone which is no bad thing - doesn't do to become too complacent!
Freestone's an interesting tenor player - a complete contrast to the tenor players I've heard recently i.e. Spillett, Xenopoulos, Kamasi, Nick Gould and a few others. Tori drifts and floats, lightly toned yet still very free but without an excess of the squeaks and squawks so many of the present crop are prone to. Although not one to blitz the listener with a host of demisemiquavers - why play 100 notes if 50 will do? - the technique is there and used sparingly or otherwise as befits the composition. Most of those compositions were written by herself or bassist Manington and invariably have Spanish titles - her writing is usually done in Tenerife - the exception being that hoary old sea shanty Shenandoah.

There were two takes of this throwback to junior school choir practices which, at the time, had me considering running away to sea. The first version had Ms. Freestone blowing tenor and the second saw her playing violin and voicing the words, something that would have proved difficult on tenor.

Manington was relatively unobtrusive on bass, unlike Giles who, at times threatened to obliterate the other two! Fortunately, he didn't and is understandably rated as one the best drummers around.

Most of the pieces were from her albums with the current one - El Mar de Nubes - predominating (see review).

The audience, who for most of the time had sat with furrowed brow, deep in contemplation of the intense happenings (or maybe they were trying to remember if they had switched the lights off) suddenly came to life at the end and yelled for more. This I can never understand. If you've enjoyed a football match you don't demand they play on after the final whistle. I know the encore is usually optimistically built into the setlist but I always feel enough is enough even if it's the most fantastic gig ever and so I retired.
Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable evening even though I didn't win the raffle, the prize of which was a ticket for any JNE gig the next one of which just happens to be this lunchtime (1:00pm) at the Lit & Phil where Tori will do a duo set with pianist Alcyona Mick.

Next Thursday (June 20), at the Black Swan, JNE present a concert by the Durham University Big Band (8:00pm).
Lance
Photos.

2 comments :

Chris Kilsby said...

I followed my own advice and went to this gig too. After hearing the recorded album multiple times, it was a joy to hear the 3-D, technicolour version! A full-voiced master class taking us to Tenerife and USA and back, with exquisite and inventive music from all three players.

Lance is right about Tim Giles' prominent role - I thought the music overall was very rhythmically founded, intricate and intriguing! While Tim did play ppp (brushes,cowbells...) he also cut loose to ff, and where we were sitting we could have done with bass and sax higher up in the mix at times.

My CD review suggested the band weren't for "hard blowing", but the extended versions of the songs last night proved me (gloriously) wrong. Altogether a great night out, especially for my young companions (one of whom has the privilege of Tim's tuition at LCoM).

BTW It's very kind, but nonsense, for Lance to bracket me with John Fordham, the jazz critic non pareil, massive in knowledge and style, who has clearly recognized the qualities of Tori's work amidst the rest of the burgeoning UK jazz scene.

Lance said...

You're too modest Chris! Having said that, I didn't say "equally respected" when I bracketed you with Fordham. Plus, as we can't afford to pay our reviewers with filthy lucre, compliments or an occasional glass of Adams Ale are the alternatives.

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