Tuesday, August 05, 2008

This Charming Manchester - Manchester Jazz Festival day 9

So it was tears all round on Saturday 26th July for the last day of this years Manchester Jazz Festival. The sun hung in there again for first act of the day, the Tim France Quintet in St Anns Square. The festival guide promised "a no-nonsense straight ahead repertoire" and this is exactly what we got, delivered to the highest standards from some great Manchester players including Tim on sax, Richard Iles on trumpet, Pete Turner on bass, Eryl Roberts on drums and George King on piano. This was great stuff actually. All the playing was bang on providing us with a really entertaining start to the day. A particular treat was 'Fistful of Haggis', a Horace Silver style latin groove featuring some fab slurry mute trumpet playing from Richard. Other goodun's were Wes' 'SOS' and Julian Adderley's 'Jive Samba'.

Terri Shaltiel followed with some classic style powerful blues material mixed in with a few soul classics. She's a decent enough singer for this type of thing but some of playing was a bit rough at the edges and it didn't do a great deal for me.

On the face of it putting the Wizards of Twiddly in to close the afternoon looked to be a brave and foolhardy move by the festival organisers. Judging the book by it's cover you'd be forgiven for expecting a death metal set from this lot. Sure enough there was plenty of unabashed widdly twiddly playing and some was indeed on the heavy side but there was plenty of light and shade there as well. In the end I think a cross between the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Peter Gabriel era Genesis was fairly near the mark. Some curious almost folky melodies popped out amongst the politically motivated tunes such as 'Big, Bigger, Bigot'. Including this band was stretching the festival 'jazz' brief again but they succeeded in getting the Saturday St Anns crowd on their side. For pogo improvisations this band definitely have it.

In the evening it was over to the festival one-off pavilion tent venue outside Urbis. The venue worked really well I thought and it was nice to be somewhere a little different. The sound and lighting was pretty good and I quite liked the feel of it. The first part of another double bill was a tribute to the late Emily Remler from guitarists Deirdre Cartright and Kathy Dyson. Despite being a guitar player myself I'm not normally a big fan of guitar duos but these two did have a certain something. The crowd seemed attentive and well disposed which made for a friendly atmosphere and a quite charming little set. I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this one.

The final act of the evening was latin band 'Apitos' with it's 'Made in Manchester' set. I think this was a one-off festival special, the band normally going for an authentic latin thang. The gig consisted entirely of latin versions of Manchester pop and indie classics from the likes of The Smiths, the Happy Mondays and M People. Fun it was meant to be and fun it was too. Hearing a latin version of 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now' was certainly quite a strange experience complete with it's percussion breaks and the full works. It took them no time at all to get the dancing going and the band went down a veritable storm. This man was charmed too.


Anonymous said...

" I think a cross between the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Peter Gabriel era Genesis was fairly near the mark"

So what the hell were they doing there?

I didn't like their internet samples at all so didn't bother going. YouTube videos have confirmed this.

What the hell are people like this doing at a jazz festival? And that could be a mantra applicable to many festivals, many radio stations, and much music industry marketing.

Sure, "Jazz" is not necessarily easy to define and permeable edges are OK and be quite fun.

But I'd say 40-50% of what is called "Jazz" is just taking the piss.

Ade said...

Well I'm not going to disagree with you on this one. I also would have preferred something that fell more in the 'jazz' brief. Ade x