151

Monika Heidemann at 55 Bar

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Monika Heidemann
55 Bar,
New York, New York
December 14, 2005

Singer Monika Heidemann, whose album Bright I recently reviewed, appeared with her band at 55 Bar on Christopher Street in NYC for a 7:00-9:00PM show.
It was a very cold evening, and it was just as well that things did not get started until 7:30, since that was when the crowd arrived, seemingly all at the same time.
Doing tunes both on and off the album, Heidemann was in good voice, and the band in good form, despite the fact that they really could not let go in the small space of 55 Bar. Coming from yet another angle and influence, true jazz was played at a very high level.
It is always interesting to hear a live performance of studio material, and see how the "extra" things that can happen in the studio get handled live. In the case of Bright, there were some extra voices and instruments. It turned out, however, that the only thing missing was the studio polish, which was to be expected, and which, however, was replaced by the impact of a live performance.

Heidemann's compositions start from somewhat stream-of-consciousness poetry, both her own and others, with the music following the accents of the text, spinning out melodies of no fixed structure. The arrangements, therefore, are more complex than usual. Her voice is very clear and she sings with very little vibrato, making it more of an instrument on par with the rest of the band.

The players were superb. Vibraphonist Matt Moran uses four mallets, sometimes using a bass bow to get a singing sound. He said that this technique was common in a classical new music setting, but not generally in use in jazz. He also used a variable vibrato pedal, which he said was unique. Doug Young's guitar playing was very interesting in that he not only put effects to good use, but what he played was not in the common guitar idiom. Even more amazing was the fact that drummer Simon Lott and bassist Derek Layes were subbing and had little rehearsal, but nevertheless sounded as spontaneous as Moran and Young; such is the high degree of musicianship in New York City.

When the band got the chance to improvise, the sound created was thrilling, with Moran and Young blending their sounds behind each other, in front of the driving propulsion of Lott and Layes.

The music was new, different and very creative. It engaged the mind while getting everyone moving. The set was wonderful and the Monika Heidemann Band shows real promise.


Shop

More Articles

Read Vossajazz 2017 Live Reviews Vossajazz 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Hermeto Pascoal at SFJAZZ Live Reviews Hermeto Pascoal at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: April 21, 2017
Read Lewis Nash and Steve Wilson at JazzNights Live Reviews Lewis Nash and Steve Wilson at JazzNights
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 18, 2017
Read Tallinn Music Week 2017 Live Reviews Tallinn Music Week 2017
by Martin Longley
Published: April 16, 2017
Read Bergamo Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Bergamo Jazz Festival 2017
by Francesco Martinelli
Published: April 14, 2017
Read Miles From India at SFJAZZ Live Reviews Miles From India at SFJAZZ
by Walter Atkins
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "Ian Shaw With The Phil Ware Trio at The Workmans Club" Live Reviews Ian Shaw With The Phil Ware Trio at The Workmans Club
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 28, 2017
Read "Matt Schofield at Nectar's" Live Reviews Matt Schofield at Nectar's
by Doug Collette
Published: July 11, 2016
Read "Electric Hot Tuna at Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center" Live Reviews Electric Hot Tuna at Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center
by Doug Collette
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "Abullah Ibrahim at SFJAZZ" Live Reviews Abullah Ibrahim at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: May 12, 2016
Read "Kronos Festival 2017" Live Reviews Kronos Festival 2017
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: February 12, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!