sat 25/03/2017

improvisation

theartsdesk in Bergen: Questions upon questions at Borealis Festival

There comes a point in any experimental music festival when you have to accept the silliness and go with it. And at Borealis, that point comes very early. Only a couple of hours off the plane in Bergen and we're in a pedestrian tunnel under the bus...

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The UK Pun Championships, Leicester Comedy Festival

The UK Pun Championships have quickly become a fixture of the Leicester Comedy Festival, and this year the organisers installed a boxing ring at De Montfort Hall to underline the event's competitive element.The eight contestants – a mixture of...

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CD: Xam Duo - Xam Duo

Everything about Xam Duo’s debut album, out earlier this month on Sonic Cathedral, has a wonderful sense of self-indulgence: from the freeform, experimental feel, the stretched-out tones and resulting melodies that exist almost by implication, to...

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Rava / Herbert / Guidi + Murgia, Kings Place

There was an Italian flavour to the EFG London Jazz Festival programme at Kings Place on Thursday night. Enrico Rava is an eminent statesman of European jazz, who emerged in the 1960s as a disciple of Miles Davis. He was collaborating with young...

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CD: Gruff Rhys - Set Fire to the Stars

Super Furry Animals front man Gruff Rhys is a quietly prolific talent. Every few years or so, there’ll be another album, complete with the kind of thought-through concept that gives lift to his literate and expressive story songs and colours them...

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CD: Bitch 'n' Monk - we are peering over

Bitch ‘n’ Monk is a duo of London singer and guitarist Heidi Heidelberg and Colombian flautist Mauricio Velasierra. They make work of uncompromising novelty - dense but exhilarating collages of soaring vocals, restless guitar and intricate,...

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CD: Elliot Galvin Trio - Punch

Ludic, ironic, kaleidoscopic, highly stylised, this follow-up to the Elliot Galvin Trio’s acclaimed 2014 debut, Dreamland, packs an exhilarating feast for the ears into its shortish 38-minute time frame. Like that greatest of musical magpies, Igor...

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Whose Line Is It Anyway?, London Palladium

At least half the audience for this live version of the short-form improv show, which was shown on Channel 4 between 1989 and 1998, couldn’t possibly have seen Whose Line Is It Anyway? when it was first broadcast, so one assumes they must have...

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CD: Phronesis - Parallax

It seems fitting that the propulsive playing of drummer Anton Eger is the first sound you hear on this latest studio recording by the Scandinavian/British jazz trio, Phronesis. While there’s plenty of warm-hearted lyricism and vibrant harmonic...

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Eliane Elias, Ronnie Scott's

Masterly improvising, outstanding compositions, a complete understanding between the musicians. On every count this was an exceptional set, as emotionally engaging as it was lovingly delivered.Working for three years in her late teens with the great...

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10 Questions for Jazz Quartet Empirical

Described by Courtney Pine as "the most exciting jazz band to come out of the UK" and hailed in the press as the new young lions, Empirical broke cover in 2007, topping album of the year charts with their self-titled debut and picking up wins at the...

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10 Questions for Musician Maria Schneider

Maria Schneider is one of the luminaries of contemporary jazz. The composer, arranger and bandleader, together with her 18-piece orchestra, first came to prominence in 1994 with the release of their debut recording, Evanescence. Blazing...

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