The Fred Frith project dominates the second weekend of the Glasgow Jazz Festival. ranging from Frith’s working band Keep The Dog through to a performance with animator Pierre Hebert. Fred. a founder member of the avant-garde rock band Henry Cow. describes his profile in this country as ‘non-existant‘ since he left for New York in 1978. and admits to some excitement at the prospect ofgiving British audiences ‘the chance to get a cross-section on what l have been
doing since I left.‘
‘Keep The Dog will be playing a selection ofthings which I have recorded over the last fifteen years. almost all ofwhich were from the post-Henry Cow period. The music for the band is completely composed. although occasionally the group will start to improvise without
So how do you manage to keep John Zorn in line in that situation?
‘Zorn is a kind of wild-card.' Fred laughs. ‘but even he does play some written parts. I think he is much misunderstood by the British press.” he adds. ‘who don’t seem very interested in engaging with his music. rather than the false image they have ofjust another
Carol Main contemplates the Classical releases I SNO/‘THOMSON: Britten/ Les Illuminations; Ouatre Chansons Francaises; Serenade Ior Tenor. Horn and Strings (Chandos). The SNO's l989/90plans include performances of Les Illuminations in both Edinburgh and Glasgow. in one of the season‘s most attractive programmes under Matthias Bamert. Whether the live version (with the young Scottish soprano Lorna Anderson) will live up to Bryden Thomson‘s with Felicity Lott remains to be seen. but if it does. audiences are in for a magical experience. The SNO‘s strings are in superbly shimmering. vibrant form. with Miss Lott a sensuous. spine-tingling soloist. The Four French Songs . composed when Britten was only 14. are outstandingly performed. as is the Serenade. with Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor) and Michael Thompson (horn). I CAMERATA OF ST ANDREW/FRIEDMAN: Georg Philipp Telemann/ Suite tor Flute and Strings in A minor; Don Ouichotte Suite; Concerto for Flute. Violin. Cello and Strings in A major (Omega). Leonard Friedman may not be spotted as regularly as he used to be on the Scottish
concert platform these days. but this does not mean he is not as busy. One of his latest projects is a series of recordings with the recently formed Camerata. drawing players from both England and Scotland. The Telemann disc is beautifully presented. with authoritative yet sensitive and responsive playing from Freidman and friends. Susan Milan‘s flute playing is crystal clear. incredibly nimble-fingered at times. but always lyrical and shapely.
I MIKHAIL PLETNEV: Beethoven Sonatas/ Moonlight; Appassionata;
Waldstein (Virgin Classics). ‘
The best is saved for last in a generally impressive recording by this cool Russian pianist. a Tchaikovsky winner at the age ofonly 21 in 1978. The A ppassionata‘s finale is quite exhilarating. Pletnev proving himself throughout to be a pianist of formidable technical brilliance. although at times the instrument is rather too thick and muddy for my taste. Beethoven's range of expression is well delivered. with the
A ppassionala opening to a great sense ofdrama. while the simplicity ofthe
, Moonlight is well brought
out. its familiar opening plaintive and heavy with
Frith‘s relationship with the mercurial New York saxophonist. recently the subject of a South Bank Show shared with Sonic Youth. goes back ten years; indeed. the guitarist recalled that his first performing trip to New York was to plav in one of Zorn‘s game pieces. They have played regularly in improvising duos ever since. as they will on Sunday. while Fred is the bass player in Zorn‘s current Naked (‘ity quintet. which played a sensational London gig late last year.
The saxophonist is certain to be the centre ofconsiderable interest in Glasgow. He has successfully disengaged himself from the audience limiting banner of the avant-garde. a remarkable enough achievement for so determinedly idiosyncratic a performer. but has done so without compromising on the innovative edge ofhis extraordinary music.
As with Frith himself. the range of
melancholy. This is a recording which needs plenty of volume. so don't make the mistake I did at first and play it too quietly.
I ACADEMY OF LONDON/STAMP/GIELGUD: Proltoliev/ Peter and the Wolf etc (Virgin Classics). (ireat fun — and not just for children. Sir John (iielgud is an avuncular narrator. his warm. rich voice easy for all to listen to as he tells the story of Peter and co - although it must be said his Spitting Image is somehow never far away. The Academon London. a fairly recently formed ensemble. under its Musical Director and founder Richard Stamp. has a gloriously rich and full sound too. perhaps partly attributed to its nucleus of American- trained string players. Saint-Saens‘ ( 'urnii-al of the Animals and Mozart‘s [fine kleine Nachtmusik make up the remainderof this lighthearted disc. which is sold in aid of (‘hailey Heritage for physically handicapped children.
I ASTOR PIAZZOLLA: The Rough Dancer and the Cyclical Night (Tango Apasionado) (American Clave) In the week when the bandoncon maestro visits Glasgow. his follow-up to Tango.'Zero Hour finds him in more
that music is almost absurdly
extensive. from the
mock-Neopolitan grandeur of Morricone to the hardcore thrash versions of ()rnette (‘oleman on Spy vs Spy (delayed by art-work problems. but due out in July). the transformed bop of the Sonny (‘lark Memorial Quartet or .N’ews For Lulu to the abstract complexities of the game pieces like ('obra. Behind all of them lies not only Zorn’s acute. exploratory musical intelligence. but a desire to make fullest use of the musical resources available to him. ‘What I am doing is trying to get the best out of letting the musicians do what they do best. whoever I use.‘ Zorn told me recently. ‘lt used to really annoy me when l would look on the back of a record and there would be this incredible line-up like David Murray. Jamaladeen 'l‘acuma. Ronald Shannon Jackson. something like that. and you put the thing on and it sounds like it could have been done by anvbodv — the
raunchy form. ('ommissioned for the stage. it is. accordingto Astor. ‘music meant to be played by half-drunk musicians in a bordello.’
and the tango variations have a dreamy. small hours feel which is very
g different from the
previous record. Brilliant saxophonist Paquito
leader doesn't get their personalities out on record. he doesn't put them in a position where they can do their best. That’s really what l‘m all about. trying to find situations for musicians to really shine.
‘The Sonny Clark group was another side ofwhat I do. and so is the ()rnette Coleman album. l‘m interested in approaching that music in a very personal way. in taking these great compositions and playing them today. playing them now. as fresh as they might have been back in the 1950s and (10s.
For Frith. the Festival provides a unique opportunity to present ‘a whole lot of things at the same time. under a single umbrella.‘ and to do so in his native country. where he is more often than not presented in ‘an improvised gig in some upstairs room in a pub.‘ thereby further rnarginalising his work over here.
‘l‘m kind ofcurious to see how it all adds up myself. I play a lot in Europe every year. and it has always been strange that people in those countries express an interest in a wide range of my work. and yet in Britain. any coverage I do get usually goes back to Henry Cow. For me. this is going to be great — it's probably going to be quite an emotional experience to come back and actually get to do what I do.‘
(Kenny Mathieson) Fred Frith and John Zorn at Third Eye (.‘enlre. Glasgow on Sunday 2 July at 2.30pm. £2.50 (£1.50).
D‘Rivera adds to the highly-charged. brooding melancholy which pervades the music. Recommended. (KM)
I GLASGOW BARROWLAND (041 226 4679) Texas. 9 Sept; the The. 26 Sept; Gary Numan. 20 Oct; Marillion. 4 Dec.
I GLASGOW PAVILION (041 226 4679) The Fureys. 18 Oct.
I GLASGOW SECC (041 248 3000) Pet Shop Boys. 17 July; The Cure.18July; Simple Minds. 8-9 Aug: Erasure. 18 Jan.
I EDINBURGH MEADOWBANK STADIUM Simple Minds. 12Aug.
I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (031 557 2590) Black Sabbath. 5 Sept; Jethro Tull. 21 Sept; The Stranglers. 27 Sept; Gloria Estelan. 2-3 Oct; Shirley Bassey. 7 Oct; The Fureys. 19 Oct; Anderson. Brulord. Walteman & Howe. 21-22 Oct.
I EDINBURGH CHURCHILL THEATRE (031 2255756) L'An Un. 25-26 Aug.
I EDINBURGH KINGS THEATRE (031 225 5756) Opera North/T he Love For
Three Oranges. 24—26 Aug
: IEDlNBURGH LEITH E THEATRE(0312255756) FestivalFolkopera/Salome.
13-19 Aug; Jutland Opera/T he Divine Circus. 28—29 Aug
2 I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE . (031 225 5756) Spanish
i i I
National Ballet/Bolero. 12-14 Aug; National Opera oI Spain/La Chulapona. 17-19 Aug; Houston Ballet/Guatama Buddha. 22. 24. 25 Aug; Swan Lake, 23. 26 Aug
I EDINBURGH OUEEN’S HALL (031 668 2019) Festival morning concert season 14Aug—2 Sept.
I EDINBURGH ROSS BANDSTAND (031 225 5756) Glenlivet Fireworks Concert. 24 Aug.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (031 225 5756) Nat Orch oI Spain. 13/14Aug; Gothenburgh SO.15Aug;
Montserrat Cahalle. 16Aug; .
Cristina Hoyos Ballet. 17-19 Aug; Oslo Phil Orch. 20/21 Aug: CBSO. 22/23/25/26 Aug; Nouvelle
Orchestre Philharmonique. 5
28/29 Aug; Ravi Shanltar. 31 Aug; London Sinlonia. 1 Sept; Grand Messe Des
Morts. 2-3 Sept.
JAZZ & FOLK
I EDINBURGH JAZZ PAVILION (MEADOWBANK) lntemational Opening Ball. 20 Aug; Jazz En France. 21 Aug; Tommy Smith Experience. 22 Aug; New Orleans Mardi Gras. 23 Aug; Really The Blues. 24 Aug; Farewell Ball. 25 Aug. Tickets available Irom 10 July- 031 5571642Ior details.
I EDINBURGH OUEEN'S HALL (031 668 2019) Courtney Pine. 19Aug; George Russell Orchestra. 20 Aug; Carol Kidd. 21 Aug; Sonny Rollins. 22 Aug; Big Band Concert, 23 Aug.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (031 225 5756) Duke Ellington Celebration Concert. 24 Aug; Stephane
Grappelli. 27 Aug.
I EDINBURGH HOPETOUN HOUSE (031 668 2019) Festival Fireworks with Humphrey Lyttelton. 26 Aug.
I ULLAPOOL HIGHLAND CIRCUS (0875 30328) Battlefield Band, 21-22 July.
38 The List 30 June — 13 July 1989