Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

7

Brilliant Corners 2018

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
Lyttle's hands worked his kit on the introduction to "After the Flood," reverting to sticks to effect a samba-tinged rhythm as Hamilton's sweeping melodicism held sway. Lyttle's solo spot, with elbows, hands and sticks skilfully balanced gutsy attack and melodic finesse. American-born, Carrickfergus-based Meilana Gillard brought her habitual guile and passion to Lyttle's suave post-bop burner "Perpetual Scenario." After an extended hiatus from the recording studio, Gillard's second as leader, Dream Within A Dream (Lyte Records, 2017), served as a potent reminder of an exceptional talent, reaching Best of Year lists in Jazzwise, All About Jazz and Marlbank. A tenor saxophonist of the old school, Gillard's full-blooded, melodically inventive solo proved the highlight of a memorable tune.

Janisch featured on another impressive Lyttle tune, "Summer Always Passes," and though his unaccompanied, highly melodious intro held the audience rapt, it was the trio's dialogue when fully locked on that was most captivating. A fine set wound up with "The Pensioner," an elegant piano-driven number punctuated by a drum feature, Lyttle working his kit with power and precision. How often this trio will get together remains to be seen but the association is definitely one worth pursuing.

Sons of Kemet

Brilliant Corners 2018 finished off in properly celebratory style, with a booty-shaking powerhouse of a concert by the much-lauded Sons of Kemet. The multiple-award-winning quartet has been a festival favourite since Shabaka Hutchings formed the band in 2011, though perhaps an intimate, standing-room-only venue such as Black Box is the best environment in which to experience its bristling 21st-century jazz-funk.

Sons of Kemet hasn't stood still since its debut Burn (Naim Jazz Records, 2013) , as this set, drawn largely from the band's third release, the cheekily titled Your Queen Is a Reptile (Impulse!, 2018), showed. The dual drum set-up of Eddie Hick and Tom Skinner cooked up a pulsating rhythmic stew, while tubaist Theon Cross ploughed ferocious grooves, occasionally falling into melodic unison with Hutchings, who riffed and probed tirelessly. As tightly knit as the unit surely was, there was freedom aplenty to take the music this way and that, with Cross every bit as compelling as Hutchings in the improvisation stakes.

The crowd, pressed close to the stage, moved to the hypnotic beats from the outset, with more and more drawn to dance as the concert progressed. Caribbean roots music, heavy dub, futuristic funk, New Orleans second-line and free-jazz fused in a wildly euphoric fusion that was trance-like in its unrelenting intensity. At an hour and fifteen minutes this was, relatively speaking, a short headlining set, but trying to sustain music this potent, this explosive, or trying to dance to it for that long, rendered it something of a marathon experience—and an unforgettable one at that. Unlikely to be the party band at England's upcoming royal wedding, but highly recommended for all other festive occasions.

Wrap-up

The best edition of Brilliant Corners so far? Such things are subjective but promoter Moving On Music does seem to keep on raising the bar. For the stylistic range and quality of music on offer, and for the adventurous nature of the programming, which often seems to say 'let's see what they think of this,' Brilliant Corners is arguably more progressive than many bigger and more illustrious jazz festivals. Still with the potential to grow its audience, there will be many, no doubt, who feel that the one main venue—with the odd satellite concert—and the intimate nature of Brilliant Corners is precisely its forte. An essential event in Ireland/Belfast's packed festival calendar.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Marcin Wilkowski

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
Read more articles

Related Articles

Read Joe Gransden's Big Band At Cafe 290 Live Reviews
Joe Gransden's Big Band At Cafe 290
by Martin McFie
Published: December 9, 2018
Read U2 at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin Live Reviews
U2 at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 9, 2018
Read David Johansen at The Space at Westbury Live Reviews
David Johansen at The Space at Westbury
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: December 9, 2018
Read Joshua Bowlus Trio at The Jazz Corner Live Reviews
Joshua Bowlus Trio at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: December 8, 2018
Read Arturo Sandoval At Yoshi's Live Reviews
Arturo Sandoval At Yoshi's
by Walter Atkins
Published: December 8, 2018
Read Julian Lage Trio at Flynn Center for the Performing Arts Live Reviews
Julian Lage Trio at Flynn Center for the Performing Arts
by Doug Collette
Published: December 7, 2018
Read "Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra at the Lilypad" Live Reviews Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra at the Lilypad
by Doug Hall
Published: November 19, 2018
Read "French Connections - The Jazzdor Experience" Live Reviews French Connections - The Jazzdor Experience
by Henning Bolte
Published: January 25, 2018
Read "Vorcza at Nectar's" Live Reviews Vorcza at Nectar's
by Doug Collette
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "Abdullah Ibrahim at the Michigan Theater" Live Reviews Abdullah Ibrahim at the Michigan Theater
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 25, 2018
Read "Lisa Bjorange at Bullret Jazz Club" Live Reviews Lisa Bjorange at Bullret Jazz Club
by Patrick Burnette
Published: February 2, 2018