All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

426

Bill Stewart Trio Live at the Copenhagen Jazzhouse

By

Sign in to view read count
Bill Stewart Trio
Copenhagen Jazzhouse
September 22, 2005

At his trio's first gig on their second European tour, Bill Stewart opened the show by telling us how happy he was to be back at the Copenhagen Jazzhouse, "one of the best jazz clubs in the world." Not a bad compliment!

Organist Larry Goldings and pianist Kevin Hays have, just like Bill himself, been involved in many projects on the American jazz, fusion and funk scene. Names like Maceo Parker, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, and James Brown absolutely helps to bring bigger audiences to the gigs. Without necessarily giving us a hint of what the music sounds like—because this group is on a higher musical level than all of those groups. If I would compare the sound to anything else, it sometimes reminds me of Tony Williams' Lifetime. The music is very dynamic, present and free from all labels and borders, letting us all share the magic of each moment. This is what keeps us coming to the jazz club—we can only experience it then and there!

The composition of this fairly new trio is a good example of the advantage of selecting band members out of your personal preferences, rather than which instruments they play. Piano, organ and drums does not sound like the obvious instrumentation, but the deep level of communication between these musicians make you realize that this is actually a perfect setup! We can hear how the keyboard players inspire each other, just like two guitar players in the same band do, since they can identify with and pick up on each other's lines. Maybe I should not single out any one of these three great musicians, but Larry Golding's playing was truly outstanding: always inventive, moving in an incredibly wide range of expression. But then of course I must also mention Bill Stewart's truly unique drum solos and the way he was smacking those brushes and Kevin Hays' hip, distorted Fender Rhodes sound.

The spacy interplay, going from cool to intense, from walking to funky, without a dull second, left the audience in the packed club almost breathless (except for the occasional enthusiastic screams and hollers). The compositions with funny names like "Good Goat," "How Long Is Jazz?" and "Don't Ever Call Me Again" were quite loose, serving as vehicles for the telepathic interplay rather than locking the music up in a fixed structure. And Bill Stewart's dry sense of humour put smiles on our already delighted faces: introducing "It Could Happen To You," one of very few standards, with "Can't remember who wrote it. Some old guy. Some old dead guy."

(By the way, I looked it up. Johnny Burke and James Van Heusen, whoever they were...)

And the sense of humour and playfulness was ever present that night, not only while introducing the songs, but in the general atmosphere of musical joy and creativity that filled the room that night.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Space Squid

Space Squid

Pirouet Records
2016

buy
Incandescence

Incandescence

Pirouet Records
2008

buy
Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Self Produced
2005

buy
 

Telephaty

Birdology
1997

buy
 

Telepathy

Blue Note Records
1997

buy
 

Snide Remarks

Birdology
1995

buy

Related Articles

Read Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2018
by Doug Collette
Published: June 13, 2018
Read Le French May’s Live Jazz Series in Hong Kong Live Reviews
Le French May’s Live Jazz Series in Hong Kong
by Rob Garratt
Published: June 11, 2018
Read Michelle Lordi at Philadelphia Museum of Art Live Reviews
Michelle Lordi at Philadelphia Museum of Art
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: June 10, 2018
Read Andy Hague Quintet at The Bronx Bar Live Reviews
Andy Hague Quintet at The Bronx Bar
by Barry Witherden
Published: June 10, 2018
Read Atlanta Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Atlanta Jazz Festival 2018
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 9, 2018
Read Vision Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Vision Festival 2018
by John Sharpe
Published: June 5, 2018
Read "Earl Thomas At Biscuits & Blues" Live Reviews Earl Thomas At Biscuits & Blues
by Walter Atkins
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Kongsberg Jazz Festival 2017" Live Reviews Kongsberg Jazz Festival 2017
by Henning Bolte
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Temple University Jazz Band at The Appel Room" Live Reviews Temple University Jazz Band at The Appel Room
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 1, 2018
Read "WAR with Malo At Stern Grove" Live Reviews WAR with Malo At Stern Grove
by Walter Atkins
Published: August 27, 2017
Read "FORQ at The World Cafe Live" Live Reviews FORQ at The World Cafe Live
by Mike Jacobs
Published: August 18, 2017