All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

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...


Live From Old York: Laura Jurd, Annie Whitehead, Brooks Williams & Koshka

Live From Old York: Laura Jurd, Annie Whitehead, Brooks Williams & Koshka
Martin Longley By

Sign in to view read count
Laura Jurd's Dinosaur
National Centre For Early Music
November 11, 2016

Dinosaur are one of the UK's fastest rising new bands, although their recent re-naming hides a few years of history as the Laura Jurd Quartet. The London foursome still look even younger than their actual ages, thus qualifying as fully fresh-faced. Trumpeter Jurd's music (for she is the sole composer) is considerably older in its countenance, with much of its vocabulary reaching back to the electrified early-1970s sound of Miles Davis, re-configured via a more recent approach to this sonic palette. Jurd also plays a small keyboard, sometimes at the same time as she's blowing horn, her parts tending towards the robo-tinkling, thin end of the aural wedge. Additionally, she's responsible for some of the most nagging melodies, on her weebling keys, cheesily profound, a childlike Moondog-gy tone in tow.

Jurd's trumpet solos rise up out of a more mainline jazz tradition, crystal clear and sharply delivered. It's Elliot Galvin who takes the core keyboard role, his solos and themes more elaborately dwelling within the expected realms. The band invariably change tack when both key-operators are flying in together, adopting a vocabulary that's as much rock or electronic as jazz-orientated. Miles phrases abound in some of the themes, but sometimes exuded as a South African township variant. The third number arrives and Dinosaur's starting to cook, with "Underdog," as Galvin tears out a solo with a brutal edge. Jurd maintains a blistering flow, into a slugging blues creation, with some sharply clipped riffing. The extended "Primordial" is a heightened, vigorous version, when compared to that which appears on Dinosaur's debut album.

The Annie Whitehead Quartet
National Centre For Early Music
November 20, 2016

This is a band that's been playing together for around 25 years, and longer between some of its members. Trombonist Annie Whitehead prefers this unchanging plateau, as she's a believer in the ongoing rapport that develops between longtime bandmates and friends. Joining her for this debut York appearance are Steve Lodder (piano/keyboards), Jennifer Maidman (electric bass) and Liam Genockey (drums). The latter is unamplified, apart from his bass drum, so the volume is kept down to a reasonable level that settles well in this converted church environment. Except that perhaps his three cohorts are turned up a touch too loud, rendering the drums, rather disconcertingly, as the quietest instrument. This is only a small criticism, as the ears have a canny way of adapting under such circumstances, and your scribe is indeed sitting just in front of the left hand speakers, smallish though they are...

A large part of Whitehead's early years on the scene were spent being influenced by London's South African settlers, eventually leading to a place in Chris McGregor's Brotherhood Of Breath. Understandably, this township vibration still resonates strongly in her chosen repertoire. The set opened with fellow trombonist Mosa Jonas Gwangwa's "Hamba Ngiyeza," with Lodder igniting almost immediately during his first solo of the evening. He's burning up repeatedly during the next few numbers, running an abstract race at the top end of the piano keys, jackknifing sideways across Genockey's limber time. Lodder's angular, spiky clusters are at odds with the joyous bounce of the first few tunes. Catching Genockey's eye, the pair are locked in a rhythmic feat of acrobatics, stopping and starting, then switching the groove emphasis spontaneously. Whitehead and Maidman are playing well, but they aren't quite hooked into this energy wave. Genockey shuffles and skips with his organically dampened rotations, rolling precise patterns around his skins, shifting accents as he runs. Whitehead and Lodder are sensitised to these rhythm-shunts, responding in accord, with paired percussive parts.


comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read European Jazz Conference 2018 Live Reviews
European Jazz Conference 2018
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 25, 2018
Read The Magpie Salute At The Grand Point North Festival 2018 Live Reviews
The Magpie Salute At The Grand Point North Festival 2018
by Doug Collette
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Chris Isaak at The Paramount in Huntington, NY Live Reviews
Chris Isaak at The Paramount in Huntington, NY
by Christine Connallon
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Detroit Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Detroit Jazz Festival 2018
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner Live Reviews
Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia 2018 Live Reviews
Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia...
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2018
Read "David Lyttle & Andreas Varady at Bennigans Jazz Club" Live Reviews David Lyttle & Andreas Varady at Bennigans Jazz Club
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 22, 2018
Read "Odean Pope Quartet at Chris’ Jazz Café" Live Reviews Odean Pope Quartet at Chris’ Jazz Café
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 7, 2018
Read "Madeleine Peyroux At Freight & Salvage" Live Reviews Madeleine Peyroux At Freight & Salvage
by Walter Atkins
Published: May 25, 2018
Read "AJAZZGO Festival in Cali, Colombia" Live Reviews AJAZZGO Festival in Cali, Colombia
by Mark Holston
Published: October 13, 2017