2014 has been a good year and I have heard lots of wonderful music, in Birmingham, in Cheltenham and abroad at one of the many excellent festivals in Europe I have been privileged to attend. I have selected entirely from memory and deliberately not gone to lists of gigs. So I have probably forgotten one or two!
They are in no particular order:
- LOOSE TUBES at Cheltenham Jazz Festival What a joy to be presenting Loose Tubes’ first gig for 19 years! All the joy in playing, the humour, the energy were still there and this was a memorable gig.
- PERCY PURSGLOVE’S FAR REACHING DREAMS OF MORTAL SOULS at CBSO Centre (Jazzlines). What a revelation! Brilliant writing from Percy for ensemble and choir bringing together all his influences and talent.
- STEVE COLEMAN’S FIVE ELEMENTS at CBSO Centre (Jazzlines) Wonderful interaction between the four members of the quartet, Steve on alto sax, Jonathan Finlayson on trumpet, Anthony Tidd on electric bass and Sean Rickman on drums. Very intense, but brilliant.
- KROKUFANT at Nordic Young Comets showcase, Helsinki. An improvising trio of sax, bass and drums from Norway, huge energy without losing content.
- THOMAS STRONEN’S TIME IS A BLIND GUIDE, at Cheltenham Jazz Festival. Very beautiful and thoughtful writingby Thomas Stronen for an Anglo-Norwegian ensemble curated by Fiona Talkington, and featuring voice, piano, cello, drums, double bass, violin and Hardanger fiddle.
- BOBBY AVEY’S AUTHORITY MELTS FROM ME at CBSO Centre (Beat City Promotions) This concert presented an extended piece by Avey based on his research into Haitian rhythms translated into themes for a top quartet with Miguel Zenon outstanding on alto sax.
- DEEP WHOLE TRIO at Ort Café Moseley. This improvising trio of Paul Dunmall, sax, Paul Rogers, bass and Mark Sanders, drums finished their national tour in Birmingham showing all that is good in improvised music today: high energy, but also a dynamic range.
- B, B & C at CBSO Centre (Jazzlines) As always, Tim Berne comes up with a fresh and exciting new project, a trio with guitarist Nels Cline and drummer Jim Black.
- JONATHAN SILK BIG BANDat CBSO Centre (Jazzlines) great writing from Jonathan Silk, a mix of big band energy and intricate jazz orchestra arrangements.
- SIDSEL ENDRESEN/STIAN WESTERHUS DUO at Molde Jazz Festival, Norway My description of this amazing vocal/guitar duo just after the gig was ‘terrifying’.
Categories: Live review