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Jazz Articles | Blog

LIVE REVIEWS

Tampere Jazz Happening 2014

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Tampere Jazz Happening Tampere, Finland October 30--November 2, 2014 On the way from the airport to the city of Tampere you pass by Nokia, situated fifteen kilometres west of Tampere, the Scandinavian city famous for its gumboots and cables, and famous for its mobile phones. For a while 'Nokia' was synonymous with mobile phone. When you arrive in Tampere you can immediately recognize the industrial character and history of the town. The Finnish territories were ...

PROFILES

Django Bates: From Zero to Sixty in Five Days

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It's rare enough to get to catch the premiere of a brand new work in a location as removed as Luleå, Sweden--just 100 kilometers south of the Arctic circle and in late May already experiencing 22-hour days and temperatures between 20 and 25 Celsius. But to get to experience the birth of a commission and to arrive on the same day as the artist and enter the rehearsal room at the same time? An unexpected pleasure. The chance to follow ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Django Bates Beloved: Confirmation

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In the jazz world, groups often convene for special projects, though, more often than not, the participants then usually go their separate ways, even if the underlying concept- -or, even, just the band's chemistry--suggests further continuance. When Django Bates put together Belovèd Bird (Lost Marble, 2010), it seemed likely that the maverick British pianist, composer and foundation shaker's off-the-wall tribute to bebop progenitor/saxophonist Charlie “Bird" Parker would be a one-off. Now, two years later, Confirmation finds the same trio back ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Django Bates: Like Life

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Django BatesLike LifeStoryville2011 (1998) If you had to choose one artifact which is emblematic of the work of the British composer, bandleader and keyboards and e-flat horn player Django Bates, then his notorious “derangement" of John Kander and Fred Ebb's “New York, New York" would be a contender. It does not matter that “New York, New York" is one of the few tunes in Bates' band book that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Django Bates Beloved: Beloved Bird

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Django Bates claims that he heard Charlie Parker records on the day he was born. Fifty years later, Bates has formed Belovèd, giving life to his longstanding love for Parker's music on his trio's debut, Belovèd Bird. It's an album that ably demonstrates how love means never having to play in the same old way, for this sparklingly inventive album is not a retread of old Parker arrangements, but a reappraisal of the sound--a reconstruction based on Bates' strongly-held belief ...

INTERVIEWS

Django Bates: Spring Is Here (A Long Time Coming But Worth The Wait)

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July, 2008: It's been 13 years since British composer and keyboards/peck horn player Django Bates released the third album in his “four seasons" series, Winter Truce (And Homes Blaze) (Winter & Winter, 1995). That album followed close behind Autumn Fire (And Green Shoots) (Winter & Winter, 1994) and Summer Fruits (And Unrest) (Winter & Winter, 1993).It has long been Bates's intention to complete the series with a spring-themed album, and in June, 2008 he finally did so with ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Django Bates: Spring Is Here (Shall We Dance?)

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One of the true visionary geniuses of British--and indeed all--modern jazz, keyboardist and composer Django Bates is a shaman and synapse twister with a breathtakingly imaginative take on the traditions and structures he recalibrates. His energy is iconoclastic but also sunny and effervescent and benign, shot through with humor and relish of the absurd. His ideas are big and he particularly excels when writing for big bands, two of which--Loose Tubes and Delightful Precipice--have led joyful rococo revolutions on the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW
LIVE REVIEWS

Django Bates' Human Chain: Live At The Hackney Empire, London, 24 July 2005

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After twenty-something years subverting and enlivening the UK jazz scene - with Loose Tubes, Delightful Precipice, and Human Chain, amongst myriad other projects - Django Bates has announced he is leaving the country. Tonight's performance was the last London gig before he relocates to Denmark, to become the inaugural Professor at Denmarks's adventurous, and generously state-funded, Rhythmic Music Conservatory. In '97, of course, Bates famously won the Danish Jazzpar prize, only the second non-American and second Briton so to do.


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