The Necks Cafe Oto London October 8, 2014 It is always a good sign when the imposing windows of Cafe Oto are misted up. If one could see through the condensation, if one could, with just one finger, remove the minuscule droplets amassed on the vertical plains, one would almost invariably spot fine music in the making. A woman, glass of red wine in hand, explains to her neighbour that, yes, this is jazz, but no, this is not like any other jazz. And that, after all, one never knows what to ...read more
The Australian jazz--improv--jam trio The Necks has been active for quarter century. Consisting of drummer Tony Buck, bassist Lloyd Swanton and keyboardist Chris Abrahams, The Necks' members are all seasoned jazzers who approach the trio's music rather differently. Drawing inspiration from electronica, systems music and rock, the Necks have reshaped the role of the jazz keyboard thus improvising with textures and space rather than just notes and chords. Characteristically, their performances are lengthy and their records often consist of one long composition. The trio is touring Europe and one of the places on their stops was the Skopje Jazz Festival. ...read more
The Necks Bishopsgate Institute London March 21, 2014 The Necks live are a different beast to their studio incarnation. In the studio the mixing desk becomes almost a fourth member of the band with, using the recent Open album as an example, contributions being faded in and out or panned across the stereo image to enhance and fine tune the soundscape. Live, however, you get the full visceral experience unmitigated by clever production and, in a beautiful space such as the Bishopsgate Institute, the perfect way to lose yourself in the music. The ...read more
Not many artists would respond favourably to a question on how they felt about audience members falling asleep in one of their performances. The Necks, however, are not like other bands--bass player Lloyd Swanton quipping in a recent interview that I have no objection to audience members sleeping, as long as they don't snore and wake up the person next to them!." The question was put to the band during a discussion of the best state to listen to Necks' music and actually had a serious basis. While a lot of quiet, controlled, jazz is routinely described by ...read more
Listening to a recording by the Australian trio The Necks is akin to over- hearing a conversation between two giant sequoia trees. While humans might not perceive the growth and movement of the trees, mom and pop Sequoiadendron giganteum might comment, Little Billy sure has sprouted up these past 400 years, he's outgrown all his school clothes, again!" Open is the 17th album by pianist Chris Abrahams, drummer Tony Buck and bassist Lloyd Swanton. The band returns to their modus operandi, like their initial 1989 recording Sex (Private Music, 1995). Playing one long meditative piece (68 minutes), the ...read more
The NecksBand On The WallManchesterSeptember 15, 2012The Necks is one of those rare and ingenious bands that has consistently made the role of the critic wonderfully obsolete. Since the group's inception in the late '80s and across 20 albums, this Australian trio has deftly maneuvered out of any pigeonhole ascribed to them--whether it be the reductive term Post-Rock" or the ludicrous early noughties marketing tag nu-jazz," communicating The Necks' sound has always been a difficulty due to the mutability of the group's music. This is a fact well known and lovingly embraced by its fans ...read more
The NecksPerforming to Food CourtLive Arts Festival + Philly FringeKimmel Center for the Performing ArtsPhiladelphia, PASeptember 22, 2012The prospect of Australian trio the Necks providing a live soundtrack for a theatrical production would seem to be either a perfect idea or an absolutely flummoxing mistake. The longstanding group is known for long, slowly-developing improvisations, owing a bit to trumpeter Miles Davis, a bit of something else to minimalist composer Steve Reich, but for the most part being something very much its own. Thegroup might have a dramatic peak in an hour ...read more
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