I will actually begin by reflecting back on the last three TDE Promotions gigs, acknowledging that these were gigs that I promoted myself. However, they were such high quality gigs that I do want to comment on them. Each one was of a very high standard,and were certainly the equal of the various acts I described in my review of the major international festival in Germany, the Monheim Triennale.
The gig with Xhosa Cole with Black Top (Orphy Robinson and Pat Thomas) featured Black Top’s rather different approach to free playing with its use of electronics, beats and influences from funk and other black musics. Xhosa is clearly becoming comfortable in playing in this context, interacting brilliantly on flute and tenor sax with Pat and Orphy. Xhosa has built quite a following and the gig was attended by a very good and varied audience, a sellout in fact. There were many new attenders, and it was fascinating to observe how positively they reacted to the music, giving the trio a standing ovation at the end.
Steve Saunders‘ Abstract Visions of a Foreign Land for an 11-piece ensemble including a string trio featured Steve’s outstanding writing that draws on contemporary classical music, notably the ‘spectral’ composers, Gérard Grisey and Tristan Murail, as well as jazz. In a pre-concert interview, Steve explained that spectral music involves the use of the acoustic properties of sound. The success of the concert was due to the strength of the compositions, and the way that solos from Steve himself, the horns, Sam Wooster on trumpet, Xhosa Cole on tenor sax and flute and Chris Young on alto sax, plus Josh Vadiveloo on bass and Jim Bashford on drums were integrated into the compositions. This attracted another good and enthusiastic crowd.
Chris Bowden’s The Hypnos Files project is something of a new direction for Chris in that it brings together the vocals of Louise Warren, the drumming of Neil Bullock, Chris’ great arrangements of the songs and for the horn section, and the electronic sounds of David Austin Grey on keys and James Owston on electric bass. James also played double bass. This was an excellent example of how to mix jazz, funk and pop; it also attracted a good crowd to the Hare and Hounds.
So on to July and two events at Centrala, the art gallery and music venue in Minerva Works on Fazeley Street in the Digbeth area of Birmingham
Tymoteusz Jozwiak Quartet featuring Marek Pospieszalski, Paul Dunmall and Olie Brice
Saturday 16th July 7.30 A co-promotion with Centrala and the Ikon Gallery as part of The Migrant Festival
Tymoteusz (Tymek) Jozwiak is a young drummer originally from the north of Poland, but who studied jazz at Birmingham Conservatoire and has settled in the city. He remains in touch with the scene in Poland, and for this special gig in The Migrant Festival he has invited saxophonist Marek Pospieszalski to come over to play with a special group that also features Olie Brice on bass and Paul Dunmall on saxophones. Marek was in Birmingham immediately before lockdown to play in the Jazz Connective festival with the Polish group Malediwy that he co-leads. He has always been very interested in Paul Dunmall’s music and has jumped at the chance to perform with him. This should be an amazing concert
Wednesday 20th July 8pm Dancer Petra Haller Joins Drummer Mark Sanders + Chris Mapp solo electric bass
Petra Haller is a London based dancer both of tap and contemporary dance; she often works with jazz musicians and in improvised settings. Mark has had a lot of experience of working with dance and theatre companies, and is the ideal partner for Petra in this collaboration. They plan to use the whole space of the upstairs room at Centrala to create an original and unique event. The evening will open with a solo set from Chris Mapp on electric bass.
For tickets and more details see the Fizzle website wwwfizzlebirmingham.com or the Centrala website http://www.centrala-space.org.uk