Dave Kane Large Ensemble & Yana

The Week, Out Front
The Voice Box & Baby People Studio, Derby

The Week is a six day festival of free jazz and improvised music in Derby hosted by Out Front, an organisation led by vibes player Corey Mwamba.

Gigs Two and Three featured a nonet led by bass player Dave Kane and an improvising trio with Corey himself, Dave Kane again and drummer Joshua Blackmore.

Dave Kane (Photo © Garry Corbett)

Dave Kane (Photo © Garry Corbett)

Dave Kane’s nonet is a new group featuring players from the burgeoning Leeds scene with relatively well known players such as guitarist Chris Sharkey, saxophonist James Mainwaring and drummer Joost Hendrickx, as well as Dave himself, plus five players I don’t remember hearing before.The band had six pieces that they had been working on for some time, but played here for the first time in public. No titles yet, but somehow that seemed irrelevant. Each one had a great groove and featured punchy and brassy unison passages that led into some collective improvisation and then into individual solos.

It was all great fun with something of a party atmosphere created, especially when the two young daughters of two members of the band danced spontaneously in front of the band, even managing a costume change at one point.

But the music was much more than party music; it had great energy and attractive textures driven on by the power of the two drummers, Joost Hendrickx and Sam Hobbs.  There were excellent solos from Chris Sharkey on guitar, James Mainwaring and Simon Kaylor on tenor saxophones, Ollie Diver on baritone saxophone, Aby Vulliamy on viola and George Murray on trombone. And it was all led by a very happy looking Dave Kane who was clearly enjoying hearing it all played in public for the first time.

Corey Mwamba

Corey Mwamba

This concert took place in the Voice Box, a nicely informal space not far from the city centre. We then moved two doors up to Baby People Studio, a similarly informal venue, for an improvised set with the trio Yana. This was an impressively open set with three or four improvisations mostly featuring collective interaction between the three players. Corey on vibes occasionally took the lead, but at other junctures integrated with the bass and drums to create a very strong groove.

Corey is an impressive presence on stage reminding me of electronics wizard Jan Bang in the way he moves back and forth and up and down taking great pleasure in the music played. Joshua Blackmore is always an inventive drummer and the partnership with Dave Kane on bass is strong, flexible and creative.

  • Full details of the six-day programme can be found HERE.
To follow John Watson’s foray into traffic commentary, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to get to Derby by train, just half an hour and then it was a 20 minute walk to the venues.  On occasional earlier visits to Derby Jazz I travelled by car and got lost; by train it was much easier and more relaxed.

Categories: Live review

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