Archive for category Healthy routine
2013 has started lively with a smoking performance from the Larry Goldings trio – with Peter Bernstein on guitar and Bill Stewart on drums. Ronnie Scott’s was grooving like a spaceship and for those interested Goldings with return to Ronnie’s on Sunday the 3rd of March, this time to play with the John Scofield trio.
I have seen John Scofield playing live many times, but never at Ronnie Scott’s – this place tends to bring out the best in musicians so can’t afford to miss the date. Another notable presence at the jazz club in February in Billy Cobham, who is coming for a whole week residency in central London. As a general observation, in recent times Ronnie’s has become a jazz centre in London – in the past Jazz Cafe, Mean Fiddler and others used to complement the picture with a healthy number of jazz occasions, whereas now it seems other venues have chosen a more commercial path.
Shortly afterwards, the London Famenco show at Saddler’s Wells will introduce a different dimension to my search for inspiration – a few weeks of explosive Flamenco, crowned with Tomatito’s appearance on the 20th in March should speed up the arrival of spring. Until then, some memories from last year’s jazz festival:
Lots of good drumming, grooving and riffing in this John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension video – looking forward to some more in 2013!
I am starting to realise booking tickets for this year’s London jazz festival was a very inspired idea – I managed to get some of the best seats and some of the better deals on tickets, as being a jazz devotee nowadays isn’t cheap by any stretch of imagination. Here are the dates and gigs of interest to me:
Jim Hall at the Queen Elizabeth hall on Sunday 18 November – I only managed to see Jim Hall live once – at the Dave Holland’s 60th birthday concert in London at the Barbican a few years back. Looking forward to a great experience as the master ages like a good wine, writing jazz history in the process.
Jan Garbarek group with Trilok Gurtu on Tuesday 13 November – great combination of rhythms and ideas which can be grouped under the umbrella of world music with a strong jazz background. Last time at the Barbican, a few years ago, I enjoyed their performance immensely, also hoping for more this time around.
Bill Frisell: The great flood at Queen Elizabeth hall on Monday 12 November – another occasion to see Bill Frisell and indulge in his unique sound and sense of improvisation. Every project I’ve seen live so far has been a very rewarding musical experience and a great example of thinking and playing outside the box, which is why Frisell is one of my favourite musicians ever.
Paco de Lucia at the Royal Festival hall on Friday 16 November – it is not every day that I get to see a true legend playing live and Paco’s music has a very special place in my heart. His playing has been a flamenco-dominated mix of styles brought alive through truly magical and inspired improvisations.
Fred Hersh at the Purcell Room on Tuesday 2 October – I first heard of Hersh from a belgian piano player, Ivan Paduart, whose master classes I used to attend in Moldova about 10 years ago. This should be a good idea to familiarise myself with Hersh’s music ina live setting.
Chick Corea – Christian McBride – Brian Blade at the Barbican on Saturday 17 November – part of the heavy artillery at this year’s jazz festival, guaranteed to impress and inspire.
And finally, possible the concert closest to my heart, John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension on Sunday 11 November at the Barbican – John McLaughlin is my all-time favourite player who continuously motivates and inspires me – the perfect cherry on the 2012 London jazz festival cake!
Quite a few gigs, which means I will have a great autumn and get some more ideas and inspiration for my playing. After that, it’s all about practice.
Apart from trying to make this blog an internet home for my thoughts on music and its surrounding issues, I also write on Zenarteast out of frustration. After all, there are not too many like-minded people I can share my passion for music and improvisation with, and a way of structuring ideas is to write them down and then move on to new ones. So on with the getting it out of my chest.
When I used to go to the Guitar Institute, or now the Institute of contemporary music performance, I was continuously told that as a musician (or rather those people’s idea of a musician) I can not afford to only focus on jazz and improvised music, because it is not a financially viable option. But guess what – this is the music I love. Full stop. Everything I do is out of passion for interesting music, and I couldn’t care less about any narrow-minded sources of opinions out there. Luckily, I am no longer involved and have nothing to do with that particular institution.
There is also often talk about the music of today – whatever that implies – and the music of, say the 60s and 70s. I think the main difference is that the most original musicians of those days – from Jack de Johnette to Miles to John McLaughlin and quite a few others – had first of all the courage to play the way they found interesting and rewarding, for both the large audiences of the time and their own evolution as musicians. And the rest – fame, recognition, respect and music history in the making – came naturally.
Quite different from today then. With a few exceptions and some of the still going strong old guard, all we hear is ordinary attempts at playing an instrument without any intention of being original or different, which is possibly a sign of the times. The welcome exceptions – Tim Miller, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Matt Garrisson and a few others – make me believe that jazz and improvisation-based music will live on and continue to evolve.
Continuing on an optimistic note, Billy Cobham and Al di Meola gigs are coming up at Ronnie Scott’s – live music from the best! May it long continue.