Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

255

Equal Interest at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

By

Sign in to view read count
EQUAL INTEREST AT Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, 18 November 1999
The anticipatory hush in the QE Hall was broken by the peeping of a mobile phone. Myra Melford turned from the piano and peered into the darkness. ‘If it’s for me, tell them I’m busy’. She wasn’t kidding. The trio launched into a Melford composition which moved forward through a series of solos, duos and group interplay. Melford's solo was a rolling, rhythmic, propulsive vision of stride for the next millennium. Leroy Jenkins and Joseph Jarman, veterans from Chicago’s AACM, were equal to the challenge, sublimating technique to ideas: Jarman extracting multiphonics from his alto and conjuring the illusion of playing two separate but simultaneous lines; while Jenkins allied his romanticism with sawing, scraping and bluesy cries, to take the piece out.
And so the set progressed with compositions from each player touching on the whole spectrum of 20th century musics. Jarman’s ‘Rondo for Ginny’, with Melford at the harmonium and the composer on flute, started with a pretty theme with oriental overtones before showcasing Jarman on the strident Vietnamese oboe contrasting with the folkish background laid down by the harmonium. Jenkins provided compositions which were by turns cerebral, with complex themes and lines in loose counterpoint, and jazzy with strong rhythmic motifs.
The first set concluded with an Armenian folksong: Jarman belting out time on tambourine, Melford laying down the dancing theme on harmonium, while Jenkins cavorted and embellished on violin. A crescendo of shaking on the tambourine signalled an increase in tempo for a rousing and joyful finale.

For the second set the trio was joined by a band of UK musicians for three pieces written specially for this tour. The playing of the larger group was very much an extension of the trio approach. Melford conducted the long multi-faceted opener, at first from the piano and then while shuffling across the stage cueing in different groupings, beating out the rhythm and bringing in the solos. Jenkins piece was more abstract with loosely phrased sections for the group, eventually winding down, with the violin scratching, plucking and bowing ,to silence. The final composition of the evening was a passage song by Jarman for his lifelong friend Lester Bowie. Chris Batchelor rose to the challenge of opening on solo trumpet for what was a flowing, elegiac, but ultimately life-affirming, celebration. Jarman and Jenkins played a melodic motif behind the solos from alto, trombone and ultimately cello. This last was one of the knockout moments with Nick Cooper’s bluesy cello sensitively accompanied by Chris Laurence’s bass, carefully choosing notes for maximum effect, while Melford strummed inside the body of the piano. A wonderful end to a fascinating evening packed with musical ideas.

The concert was recorded by BBC Radio 3 for broadcast early next year.

Musicians:

Myra Melford - piano, harmonium Leroy Jenkins - violin, viola Joseph Jarman - alto sax, flute, bass flute, vietnamese oboe, tambourine Chris Batchelor - trumpet Steve Buckley - alto sax, bass clarinet Roland Bates - trombone Paul Clarvis - drums Chris Laurence - bass Nick Cooper - cello

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Warning: include(/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php5:/data/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html:/usr/share/php') in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

More Articles

Read Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers @ NYC Winter Jazzfest Live Reviews Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers @ NYC...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Carl Bartlett, Jr. at Jazz At Kitano Live Reviews Carl Bartlett, Jr. at Jazz At Kitano
by Keith Henry Brown
Published: January 13, 2018
Read Kurt Rosenwinkel at Chris’ Jazz Café Live Reviews Kurt Rosenwinkel at Chris’ Jazz Café
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: January 2, 2018
Read Terence Blanchard at Christ Church Cranbrook Live Reviews Terence Blanchard at Christ Church Cranbrook
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 29, 2017
Read Gary Peacock Trio at the Regattabar Jazz Club Live Reviews Gary Peacock Trio at the Regattabar Jazz Club
by Nat Seelen
Published: December 27, 2017
Read "Mike Westbrook at Bury St. Edmunds Festival" Live Reviews Mike Westbrook at Bury St. Edmunds Festival
by Duncan Heining
Published: June 14, 2017
Read "Mat Maneri and Lucian Ban at Barbès" Live Reviews Mat Maneri and Lucian Ban at Barbès
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 7, 2017
Read "Berlin Jazzfest 2017" Live Reviews Berlin Jazzfest 2017
by Henning Bolte
Published: November 13, 2017
Read "Art Lillard's Heavenly Big Band at the New York City Baha’i Center" Live Reviews Art Lillard's Heavenly Big Band at the New York City...
by Tyran Grillo
Published: October 24, 2017
Read "Herbie Hancock at the Gaillard Center Music Hall" Live Reviews Herbie Hancock at the Gaillard Center Music Hall
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: October 23, 2017