Music Site for news, bands, gigs and improvisation
the new cycle path
heading south takes one from
here to the Waterfront
Hall and beyond, or if you prefer you can take a river boat shuttle
and if one is very lucky, then heading north one might hear Ken
Peplowski or Scott Hamilton!>>>>
|This site is based
in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
mainly the jazz/classical music scene with an emphasis on
There are soundclips from live recordings and reports of local
will also find function bands for weddings and
series of tutorials has been started for those interested in
and these will be expanded in the course of time.
SVENSSON TRIO (April, 2001)
Room, Queen's University Belfast, is becoming a highly successful venue
for modern jazz in Northern Ireland. These young Scandinavians treated
a capacity audience to an evening of original and imaginative music
rooted in the jazz tradition and noteworthy for encompassing an
range of musical expression covering several decades of jazz history.
strongly rhythmic approach (to be expected, but not always heard
from a jazz group), reminded me, when as a youth I made a pilgrimage to
the Five Spot Cafe in downtown New York (circa early 60s). In fact this
group devoted almost the whole of the first half of their gig to the
of Thelonius Monk with such favourites as "Well You Needn't," and
about Midnight." From a harmonically veiled introduction on the piano,
the tune would appear magically, becoming in effect an introduction in
itself to the musical developments of the Trio. One was struck by the
cooperation of the musicians in the production of the total sound,
sacrifice of individualism or self-expression. The group played
in the second half of the evening, with smooth almost imperceptible
from earthy blues to rock rhythms to the music of the Far East
Japanese and Chinese scales were set off against judiciously sounded
and cymbals superbly handled by drummer, Magnus Ostrom. The musical use
of electronic synthesiser by double-bass player Dan Berglund, added an
extra dimension for certain sections and this was complemented by
Svensson's 'inside-piano' techniques. The concert was an opportunity to
hear the group's latest version of a favourite original venturing into
outer-space, "Gagarin's Point of View," an atmospheric piece
demonstrating the musicians command of the 'effects department'.
living composers, Paul
Wilson and David Byers and by the recently deceased (1934-1998), Alfred
Schnittke. One could not help be moved by the sense of dedication and
in the orchestra as a whole and in, particular by the warmth and
of the string playing, complementing the controlled sensuality in the
playing of Maria Kliegel, soloist in the Schnittke Cello Concerto.
Byers ten minute piece, "Crooked Lymbeks," was a world premiere,
for this Sonorities Festival. Modal in feeling, the work harked back to
medieval times and once again the strings precise control over tonality
made a special impression. The opening work, Prometheus, by Paul
was pure musical excitement. We, the audience, (occupying half of the
Hall, the orchestra taking up the other half), were surrounded with
transformed sounds from the instruments of the orchestra played through
a battery of "surround-sound" loudspeakers- plus the sound of the
itself. A fitting work for the conclusion of the Festival, Queen's
Department are of course somewhat expert in electroacoustics, having
acquired substantial facilities.
was a well planned programme and the enthusiastic appreciation of the
audience clearly delighted the musicians who were at the very
of their European tour.
|From Moving on Music:
The European Jazz Youth Orchestra (EJYO)
2004, for a good P2P network with no ads,
Some current jazz venues in Northern Ireland
No Alibis Bookshop. See website for
next jazz concert.
Boat Club, Tuesday . Apex Jazz Band, South Belfast.
BJO: Short Bros Sports and Recreation Club .
2002, I was privileged to join the local
folk musicians on a warm summer night with sustenance provided by
pig and salad washed down with plenty of local Polish beer. This was
time, and singers, dancers and musicians could be heard in many parts
the Country playing in the streets and local market squares. Every
produces a different music with its own songs, instrumental
and costumes. Back in Warsaw, the Krakowskie Przedmiescie had been
off and from Nowy Swiat through the Old Town to the New Town, tens of
milled in the streets to enjoy musical offerings from Mozart and
songs from the opera with full orchestra, choir and ballet dancers to
folk, African drumming or American jazz-rock.
|Satyajit Ray workshop at
Borooah who led the discussions. With refreshments and a
free drink from the bar, this was a bargain session. Ray, one of the
masters of cinematic art is of interest to music lovers because he
and arranges the music for his own films. In 'Deliverance' music and
effects are sparse and only to the point, being subtly blended with the
sounds of nature in the parched Indian countryside. In contrast, there
is much music in 'The Chess Players,' a highly entertaining film set in
nineteenth century Lucknow at the time the British take over the
of Oudh. There is much to make you laugh or smile, but ever present is
the perceptive and detailed observation of people and their
the hallmark of this great Director.
Oleg Kireyev with the Belfast Jazz
Orchestra, June 2003
Holywood Jazz Festival
features Second Line band and those Jive Aces,
Derry Jazz Festival in full swing with
glorious global warming weather in Northern Ireland. Yellow suited Jive
Aces were everywhere and promise to be back for the Holywood Jazz
Festival near Belfast. Great to see youth livening up a scene which is
Linenhall Library, Belfast was host to a freewheeling session of
jazz from Moving on Music featuring
influences ranged from bop to African.
by either keyboard or guitar, Stephen Keogh (dms) and Jeremy Brown
provided exciting support to a trio of saxes in a programme of original
compositions. Three contrasting voices of Pete King (al), Julian
(tn) and Michael Buckley (tn and flute) blended superbly but
their individually distinctive styles and tone quality made each solo a
new experience. Highlights included an African piece featuring
flute playing from MB backed by the exciting drumming of SK, the
tenor solos of JA and the hard-bop based alto of PK we know so well. We
should have had much more, but the Library closed early, forcing all
into the wind and rain.
Peplowski (cl,sax) was performing recently to a packed house at the
Club with Dave Cliff (gt) and an unusually restrained group of Irish
from Belfast and Dublin. Ken's performance was as usual impeccable, a
on clarinet, he came into his own in a trio session with bass and
playing his own special version of Ornithology.
kicked off to a great start last night with a rather short, but
session from Afro-pop ensemble, Baobab Orchestra. This is the reformed
version of Orchestre
Dakar that took Senegal by storm in the seventies and
eighties. Government ministers created the Baobab Club in 1970 and out
of it came a fabulous pop/jazz/reggae sound (why
cannot our Government Ministers do things like this??).
Today's band was pretty good and had us all shouting for more, and they
gave us carefully planned encores, but no more than that. Great
great rhythm, and the star of show undoubtedly was
Cissoko, a terrific personality who extracted vital rhythm from the
saxophone that is not heard too often in jazz players.
special attraction this year was the return
Mehldau with Larry
Grenadier (bass) and Jorge Rossy (drums). Well deserving of their
international reputation, the trio presented a mature structured style
of playing, few traces remaining of the turn-of-the-century
we heard from the pianist five years ago. Mehldau's thematic treatments
seemed to effortlessly solve the eternal problem of the improviser, to
reconcile the opposite poles of spontaneity and musical development.
repertoire combined some rather abstract originals with some famous
from the past and suggestive fragments from jazz history were a
surprise. Full marks to the sound engineers(!) for just enough
without the usual distortion heard in the Festival jazz gigs. No doubt
the band had a say in the matter and like the MJQ had a Steinway
into their contract - what a difference!!
the World Music Project.
Chulturlann, The Falls Road, Belfast was host to a wonderful folk group
from the Altai-Sayani Mountains of Southern Siberia last night. The
combined electric bass and guitar with traditional percussion and
instruments and Tuvan overtone singing. An evening of strongly rhythmic
music, combined with remarkable atmosphere of the land of nomads
with bird calls, insect sounds and even the neighing of a horse!
senior (sax) with Namyslowski junior (trb) in the
Tygmont Club, Warsaw.
Photography by Grzegorz
playing in a club in Warsaw with no cover charges and very moderate
for food and drink. I had not heard him live since 1964 in Southampton
when his quartet appeared, smart-suited young lads, direct from the
Very good they were, especially the pianist. Today Namyslowski is
by his son, a fine trombone player with equally good young men in the
as one might
from such talent. Perhaps their musical interactions were just a bit
self-conscious. The situation was not helped by the local sound
unfortunately infamous for its insensitivity towards jazz musicians;
and drums far too loud and piano insufficiently miked up by
that much of the fine rhythmic piano work could hardly be heard
the piano's lower notes. During the big climaxes Baptiste's saxophone
overpowered when it should have been soaring over the top. But buy the
CD, these guys do record well!
on the banks of the River Lagan is mainly famous for tennis, certainly
not boats; but from time to time Scott
the international star of swing tenor saxophone will visit this
establishment, delighting an enthusiastic jazz audience with his
and command of the instrument. Last night, accompanied by Dave Cliff on
guitar with bass and drums from the South of Ireland he enthralled us
such standards as Chelsea Bridge and Skylark keeping a selection of
always at the ready in a glass of water (sax players note!). Silky
ballads merged effortlessly into hot swing from the Lester Young era
a final encore of tune fragments welded seamlessly together before we
all thrown out into the wild Belfast weather.
annual Belfast Festival at
is upon us and the jazz programme kicked off last night in the Whitla
with an electronic auditory assault from Jazz Jamaica All Stars. No
this was a star-studded band featuring some of TT's favourite
Strong on rhythm, there was some suggestion of harmonic interest in
of the arrangements, if it could be heard...? Typically, the sound
clearly with their brains adjusted to the dreaded Metallica , heavy
and U2, had adjusted the bass mixer channel to floor vibration level
swamping out such musical subtleties. Fine solos all-round too numerous
to mention, but Andy Sheppard's originality and personal voice was
on soprano sax and Ray Carless for powerful rhythmic expression on
a wonderfully contrasting programme of cool contemporary jazz, Jim
Hall and his quartet gave us all the subtlety of melodic,
and harmonic expression we might ever need. As the evening developed so
the guitar master reduced the volume level of his single small
the audience listening with progressively rapt attention to the fine
nuances and placement of chords on the musical time continuum. The lead
was shared with the exquisite toned saxophone of Greg Osby, with high
backing of Steve La Spina (bass) and Terry Clarke (drums). This
created their own special music sometimes from fragmented standards but
always firmly rooted in jazz tradition bringing to mind the sounds of
Monk, Sonny Rollins and many others but never compromising on
Sept took TT to Chinatown,
San Francisco. A few blocks further on is Jazz
at Pearl's, well worth a visit if you can afford two beverages per
set. (In another local club here in the early
I nursed a single whisky right through the evening listening to the Miles
music at the Harty Room, QUB, Belfast. This was from Pakistan and for
ears a quite remarkable experience, not least for the expressionistic
delivered with a theatrical mastery by lead singers Rizwan and Muazzam.
The programme notes were taken directly from a record company's
and investigation showed that the phenomenom of 'world-music' is very
a commercial enterprise. Mpeg3 samples can be selected from web
set up by record companies and downloaded at speed from
servers. One can learn that a harmonium cannot cope with the
temperament of the Indian raga, but is used extensively in Qawwali.
Could be a question in a pub quiz!
returned from Poland recently having experienced in Lublin the slightly
unusual combination of a Scottish bagpiper in recital with full blast
church organ playing a composition by Robert Wallace. In another Lublin
church, choir, soloists and ensemble from UMCS gave first-class
of various pieces with wonderful baroque trumpets. Afterwards, bouquets
for the principals and signed certificates for almost everyone else!
visit to Zamosc, remarkable for
its Italianate architecture discovered Jazz
Club Kosz, well-known in Polish jazz circles.
the political parties in Northern Ireland set to polarise into the more
extreme factions on voting day, TT took a space coordinate direct to
Spa to hear an expressive rendering of composers old (Locatelli) and
(Burton, Widor) by Catherine Hurley (flute) with sustained support from
Peter Blackwood (piano) and Cath Warren (basso continuo). This highly
performance promises much for the future of the young musicians from Bath
Anderson's Pocket Brass Band appeared at the Crescent Arts Centre,
last night (20th); truly a quite remarkable gig, notable for the
of the sousaphone and the clarity and originality of all the players
trombone, sousaphone and drums). They enjoyed themselves and so did we!
on Music," promotors of contemporary jazz and world music, gave the
City another highly successful gig in the Harty Room last night
April) with the Esbjorn Svensson Trio playing to a packed house.
(See report below).
Joseph gave Belfast jazz lovers a rare treat bringing his acoustic trio
to the Harty Room, Queen's University, with a selection of standards
originals. Inspiring stuff from Steinway piano, guitar and double-bass
in a slightly resonant but quite acceptable acoustic.
the courts finally move in against Napster which will shortly never be
quite the same again, jazz pianist Julian Joseph calls a meeting of the
British Academy's Jazz Committee to campaign for copyright protection
jazz composers. Full details on Napster history and 190(!) alternatives
currently available at
Festival at Queen's, 2001
Harty Room: Vibrant
playing from the New Helsinki String Quartet featuring Mozart and
and a first performance of a striking new work from Michael Alcorn, the
first from him for conventional instruments for some years. The
of his pre-occupations with electronic media could be clearly heard in
this piece designed to stretch the limits of the acoustic response of
instruments. A collage of sound segments, manipulated into the aural
continuum and much engaging the players physically, the contrasts were
sometimes intense and the listener could not fail to be involved.
the evening a treat
from the silver tone flute of Gary Arbuthnot in pieces by Prokofiev,
and Philip Hammond. With dynamic accompaniment on the piano (Daniel
the recital encompassed a broad range of musical expression with
to match, Arbuthnot's phrasing and tonal range were remarkable.
10 weeks Napster added another 12 million users since the July court
Napster is a point-to-point (P2P) network. This can fail by large
of freeloaders saturating bandwidth and contributing nothing. A
way forward is the Mojo
system whereby users host files in return for ability to download files.
David Boies defend Napster in live
replay from Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal. Check out his
in the 'Wired
Napster. Freenet abolishes central distribution server
in totally distributed point-to-point network. The hundreds of
thrown off the Napster network by legal pressure from the music
and millions more will soon belong to a world-owned anonymous
of file-swappers. Will the recording companies take on the world?
Federal judge Rakoff, strikes out at MP3.com.
with a punitive $250m damages award. The judge appeared to be
to destroy the company as an example of the force and the righteousness
of US law. The scale of the judgement inevitably raised a few eyebrows
provoking memories of LBJ. "God is on our
American judge invokes (The Divine Right?) of US Law to attack the very
use of the hyperlink itself in a judgement effectively forbidding the
of reverse-engineering in the DeCSS (DVD scrambling) case. Read Glyn
article in Computer Weekly (Sept 14, 2000). Is the net under attack?
Richard Stallman at www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.html
2000 has passed by and for the record the Government has been releasing
terrorist prisoners. But Northern Ireland is fast coming back to normal
and the July demos. are already becoming history for another year. The
major disruption and over-reactive closures of industry and
ought not to be forgotten. The good news is that musicians gigs are
to start up again!
2000. Mass exodus from
musicians gigs are cancelled as civil unrest grips Belfast. Industry,
government departments and transportation close down with considerable
haste as road blocks halt all commuter and commercial traffic. Big fare
increases for flights out of Northern Ireland.