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Bristol jazz week Aug 7

August 8, 2017
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Little burst of visitors this week – must all be looking for gigs to go to? Well, there are some.

Here, as usual, Tony Benjamin‘s list for Bristol 247 which I link to so you don’t have to go rummaging around for it on their site.

Tony mentions Sam Crockatt, who has joined what is becoming a little jazz colony in Frome, and his excellent trio at the Hen and Chicken on Sunday. As he says, the leader’s own compositions feature, but an early outing for this threesome at the BeBop club showed that he is also keen to search out other music to play. There were several lovely folk tunes in the set, and at least one that, as I recall, he said he came across as a set piece for one of his students. The principle at work seems to be one I’ve come to value more in recent years – if a tune has survived for a hundred years, that probably means it has something the others don’t.

It’s refreshing to find a player as good as Crockatt taking the trouble to do this. One sits through so many gigs where the music is all written by the band and – though this doesn’t apply to his – the pieces are forgotten as soon as they are over. Music graduates are almost always formidably well-equipped players these days. They have to write stuff, too, but real compositional flair is still relatively rare. It’s a great advantage for an emerging jazz player, I reckon, to recognise that there is a vast amount of great music out there to work with that is hardly ever heard, just waiting for a talented improviser to bring it back to life. Crockatt does.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 10, 2017 10:58 am

    Having watched and listened to Pete Cantner’s efforts at The Fringe last night I wonder if close and meticulous attention to composition comes at the expense of performance. There seems to be a compelling need on the part of some to create new material for yet another CD and I wonder if this is a boredom avoidance strategy or simply an act of unconscious vanity. As a listener and a fan, I’d much rather the emphasis was placed upon empathy within the band and outward to engage with the audience.

  2. August 10, 2017 12:19 pm

    I quite enjoyed Canter (and Matt Johns on piano) in a mainstream/modern kind of way. Pushy Doctors next week will be a contrast – no original compositions there 🙂

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