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Steve Coleman Five Elements,Vilnius Nov'16,2014

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snobb View Drop Down
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    Posted: 16 Nov 2014 at 3:51pm
It's a privilege of those living close to every city's downtown - just twenty minutes by walk and I'm here sitting in my room after Steve Coleman's concert,closed Vilnius Mama Jazz Fest this year. His quartet (without guitarist Miles Okazaki who often plays as fifth member) played in one of the best Vilnius hall, on city's main street,hall was full (even overcrowded - people sat on doorways),and it's not so usual event for town with intensive jazz life. I met country's most popular i-net portal editor with known politic expert in Theater's bar - it looked all the town came to see Steve.

It started - four guys on scene (divided right by half - rhythm section on the right and reeds on left) started with ultra-low funky electric bass pulsation and hundreds of listeners have already expected "James Brown came to town" show coming but things switched right to opposite direction. Extra-muscular and groovy (and funky in moments) rhythm section has been used as well regulated engine producing repetitive well-controlled pulsation, left-side scene's reedists duo demonstrated almost staccato acupuncture over drum-bass motoring. All sounded quite unusual and probably quite extravagant (unless you're familiar with Ornette Coleman (no relation)  music from 50s), but after 10th,20th or 40th minute for many's it looked as quite boring experiment. Four great musicians concentrated on demonstrating their ability to play extremely emotionless and controlled repetitive music, and they did it really well. All process reminded an excursion to modern scientific laboratory where four technology's stars tried to impress inexperienced visitors presenting them nana-technology's catalyze process, and obviously very proud being on the top of this science field. Closer to scientific seance end there were few freer sax/trumpet and electric bass bursts happened what resulted in public applause,  but obviously most popular show's song was concert closer - nice afro-jazz tune sung by all four members a-Capella.

For better-prepared listeners it was really interesting to hear what M-Base sounds like when played live, but generally it didn't differ all that much from Ornette later period's music. Too cold,too emotionless and too much calculated, it sounds more interesting as experimentation form. Announcing the concert it was said that "this music is all about energy and geometry", and if what is "energy" here was obvious,at the end of the gig lot of listeners understood what means "geometry" here. Even if math-rock (as music and term) was born later, tag "math-jazz" probably has sense in that case.

Full respect to Mama Jazz Fest organizer, she really did a great job filling the hall for such an unorthodox concert. Lot of people find out new (for them) form of jazz, and full respect to them - they survived that meeting surprisingly well. I would like to believe some of them will dig deeper and will find for themselves some new names, new sound and will enjoy the variety of jazz forms.
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idlero View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote idlero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2014 at 5:12pm
Just curious, was there any interaction at all with the public?
In Sibiu, they came on stage and started playing . No Good Evening, no Thank You ,nothing, the only interaction was when the band members were presented to the public.
I think the problem with a lot of the fusion music is that it's extremely predictable, it's a rock rhythm and the solos all play the same stuff and they play it over and over again ...
Ken Burns
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Nov 2014 at 12:50am
same here,but I expect it's a part of the show
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote idlero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Nov 2014 at 2:52pm
Maybe, but it looks as they don't care about the public.
Completely different attitude by the other musicians who tried to communicate with the public, especially David Krakauer who talked at length with the public and the response was very warm
I think the problem with a lot of the fusion music is that it's extremely predictable, it's a rock rhythm and the solos all play the same stuff and they play it over and over again ...
Ken Burns
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carlomuscat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Nov 2014 at 4:59am
I honestly believe it is what comes most natural to the artist. I don't mind if someone doesn't talk at length with the audience if it is not a reflection of their image, and what they do best.

That being said, I agree that effective communication does make for a warm atmosphere if you know how to go about it.


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