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Bristol Jazz Week – Jan 21

January 21, 2019

Here’s the weekly listing on Bristol247, with lots of tasty videos as is now usual. It includes the resumption of the regular Thursday night gigs down at Future Inns, so all of our main jazz venues are now back in business. (You can hear the rather fine band they’ve got lined up – with different rhythm section – here on bandcamp. Impressive stuff.

The Fringe, (which never went away) had an especially good session with Andrew Bain’s quintet last week, and has another unusually interesting date on offer this week. Trumpeter Dave Mowat has a new project with two fine Korean musicians who he first performed with last year. That was a lunchtime set at St Stephens for the trio (trumpet, vocals/piano and guitar) that made a real impression – as I related at the time. It’ll be interesting to see how the superb singer Yunmi Kang and guitarist Sangyeon Park fare with a rhythm section, and a bit more rehearsal. I’m very choosy about voices, but she really struck me as having all the qualities a great jazz singer needs. Her work blends conventional jazz approaches with Korean elements, as she explains here on Dave’s website, where you can also read more about the band and the little tour he’s set up. But worth quoting in full I think:

“It’s true we got a lot of influences from America. Many musicians in Seoul studied in America or Europe. But Jazz is not limited to American standards. As musicians we want to write our own songs and tell own story. And Jazz is just the way how to express that, like a language. So if we tell our own story, of course we should think about our route. Where we are from, what kind of history we had.

Korea was a very strong Buddhist and Confucian country before the 20th century. These outlooks are about stillness and calm. And we were colonized by Japan for 36years. After the Korean war, we were divided. We had many sad stories but the vibes of society are such it was not easy to express this sadness openly. [Free speech was restricted] because of the army dictators (1970 to 1980) and society had interest only in fast economic growth. Everything has happened to us over the last 100 years.

For these reasons Korean people have a deep sadness inside which we call a “Hahn” translated as deep sorrow, manifested in a calm and still way. So our music based on these cultures. It makes our music different from Americans jazz music.”


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