City Jazz Festival December 4-5, 2008 16 Tons Moscow, Russia Erik Truffaz December 4 Swiss trumpeter Erik Truffaz, a moderately well-known figure on the international tour circuit, surely counts Russia as a favorite gigging destination. This concert, in a popular pub-cum-music-club called 16 Tons, saw him welcomed by a highly enthusiastic young crowda far cry from the standard demographic at most similar events in the UK. Despite lengthy delays in reaching the city after landing at the airport, Truffaz and his quartet played with similar vigor, whipping up euphoric grooves based on relatively simple melodic and harmonic ideas. His effective cross-section of jazz and popular music is the main source of his mainstream appeal, although the live show was nevertheless largely sans gimmicks save for the drummer's momentary dabbling with electronic randomness. Obvious references can be made to the late work of Miles Davis, so it's not particularly original, but the band was enjoyable to watch and Truffaz can certainly look forward to many happy returns to city and country. The Bad Plus with Wendy Lewis December 5
Music by Stravinsky, Ornette Coleman and the three band members was on the bill in a typically distinctive set from The Bad Plus. Two things let them down. First, the sound engineer: Ethan Iverson's piano was far too low for the instrumental tunes, meaning it struggled for leverage against drummer Dave King's trademark scampering rhythms and skittery beats. A bigger, balanced sound to match the players' personalities was needed. The band's inclusion of indie rock singer Wendy Lewis for recent tours and the upcoming album has raised many eyebrows, and justifiably so. Her presence, although it clearly dominated the sound check, did not lend matching gravity to the overall performancewith a limited vocal range and negligible on-stage charisma, it felt like she was getting in the way more often than not, distracting from the fine creative work of Iverson, King and bassist Reid Anderson. The group's desire to explore new territory is understandableeven after a series of highly acclaimed trio recordsbut one couldn't help thinking they might have made a better choice of vocalist.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
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