The initial temptation is to consign Glasgow group Rachaka to the New Age ghetto but. KENNY MATHIESON argues. that would be a serious misjudgement of what this inventive quartet are all about.
Formed just over a year ago. Rachaka (from a Sanskrit word for the exhalation phase in yoga) began with the core ofpianist Martin Hodgson and percussionist Derek Houghton. who were quickly augmented by singer Julia Dow and cellist Jane MacFarlane. They explore an eclectic blend of musical styles and forms rooted in jazz. but reaching out to encompass influences from Baroque to Philip Glass. African rhythms to rock. ‘What goes in. however. is not necessarily what comes out. and many ofthose inﬂuences are subtly disguised in their music. or draw on
the spirit rather than the letter of the
original inspiration. Their own. albeit reluctant classification for what they do is Gunther Schuller‘s concept ofThird Stream music. a fusion ofjazz‘s improvisational
spontaneity with a more structured.
classically derived approach.
‘I came across the term in a music paper.‘ explains Martin. ‘where it was being used as a derogatory description. but I found it interesting. and tried to find out more about it. It seemed to apply quite well to what we were trying to do. although I would have been happy just to call it jazz ofa certain kind. and leave it at that.‘
They approach their music very much as a group venture. using Julia Dow’s highly effective wordless vocalising as an instrumental component in the sound. rather than in the conventional up-front fashion. while the combination of keyboard. percussion and cello. with judiciously added electronic effects. provides ample variety in the vibrant textural and rhythmic effects crucial
to their music.
‘We don‘t get to perform all that often in public.‘ Julia points out. ‘and it has been difficult for us to rehearse as much as we would like this year. because we all have other commitments. but we are working on a tour for next year. We all see this group as a long-term development.‘
Rachaka‘s major concern at the moment is to secure a recording contract. a necessary step in moving
Photo Peter Tainsh onto the European circuit. where their music is likely to find a sympathetic audience. In the meantime. they can be heard rather closer to home. with concerts in the Paisley Jazz Festival (see jazz listings for full programme) and at the Tron, to follow their Edinburgh Festival residency at the Demarco Gallery.
Rachaka. Paisley Jazz Festival. 3 Sept; Tron Theatre. 8 Sept (11.15pm).
Joe Alexander oniazz
I DON CHERRY: Art Deco (A&M) A highly welcome return to jazz after the rambling musical travelogue of Homeboy. this sparkling quartet session re-unites the trumpeter with bassman Charlie lladen and drummer Billy Higgins. all luminaries ofOrnette Coleman's great Sixties‘ quartets. and sweetens the brew with another Texan saxman. the little-recorded James Clay. The saxophonist's
I GLASGOW BARROWLANO (041 226 4679) the The. 26 Sept;The Ramones. 2 Oct; Sugarcubes. 8 Oct; The Wonder Stutt. 14 Oct; Transvlslon Vamp. 17 Oct; Gary Human. 20 Oct;The Dogs D'Amour. 23 Oct; All About Eve. 29 Oct; Fish. 30 Oct; Lloyd Cole, 13 Nov; Marllllon. 4 Dec.
I GLASGOW PAVILION (041 332 1846) Motown Magic. 17 Sept; Danny Wilson. 18 Sept; 60s Greats. 1 Oct; Dr Hook. 2 Oct; Van Morrison. 4 Oct; Rose Marie, 8 Oct; David Essex. 24 Oct; Climie Fisher. 8 Nov; Julia Fordham. 15 Nov.
I GLASGOW SECC (041 248 3000) Deacon Blue. 10 Dec;
full-blooded aitack is a splendid foil for Cherry‘s dry. acerbic tone.
I DAVID MURRAY: IWant To Talk About You (Black Saint) Murray can be the most awesomely powerful of all the contemporary sax masters when the mood takes him. but this live quartet set doesn‘t quite capture the sheer excitement and passion which he is capable of generating. John Hicks is a little too ornamental on the piano. while the rhythm section were heard to better effect in the Trio which played in Edinburgh in June. Not a
Erasure. 18 Jan; Simply Red. 21 Jan.
I LIVINGSTON FORUM (0506 419191)The Cult. 21 Nov; Aerosmith. 22 Nov.
I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (031 557 2590) Motown Magic, 18 Sept; Jethro Tull. 21 Sept; The Stranglers. 27 Sept; Gloria Estetan. 2—3 Oct; Shirley Bassey. 7—8 Oct; The Temptations. 15 Oct; Transvision Vamp. 16 Oct; The Fureys. 19 Oct; Anderson. Brutord, Wakeman & Howe. 21—22 Oct. All About Eve. 28 Oct; 10.000 Maniacs. 4 Nov; Motley Crue. 6 Nov; Spandau Ballet. 6 March. I EDINBURGH OUEEN’S HALL (031 668 2019) Danny Wilson. 17 Sept; Fish. 23 Oct; The Dogs D’Amour. 24 Oct; Julia Fordham. 16 Nov. I EDINBURGH USHER
classic Murray album. but there is some great playing nonetheless.
I TONY COE: Canterbury Song (Hot House); PETE KING: Crusade (Blanco Y Negre/WEA) Contrasting sets from two ofBritain's best jazzmen. Clarinettist and saxophonist Tony Coe. whose musical interests are very wide. is in sublime form on a straight jazz session in Canterbury Song. aided by some splendid American guests. including Benny Bailey on trumpet and Horace Parlan on piano. By contrast. Pete King‘s first
major label release mistakenly favours a disappointing pop-funk feel. rather than the bebop in which he excels. Pete's alto playing is strong (ifslightly subdued). but the band are workmanlike at best. and the sparks never ﬂy. I SUN RAARKESTRA: Hours Atter(Black Saint) Despite their fearsomer avant-garde reputation. the Arkestra are just as likely to be found swinging on standards like But Not For Me as they are plunging into the free jazz maelstrom of Dance oft/1e Extra Terrestrians. Hours
HALL (031 225 5756) Sugarcubes. 9 Oct; 10,000 Maniacs. 5 Nov; Lloyd Cole. 14 Nov; Tammy Wynette, 18 Nov.
I GLASGOW CITY HALLS (041 227 5511) SNO/Thomson/Opening Concert/Martinu 4. 7 Oct; ShO/Katz/Tchailtovslty. 12.14 Oct; SNO/Jarvi/Mahler5. 21 Oct; SNO/Bamert/Elgar. 28 Oct; SNO/CIeve/Brahms. 2.4 Nov.
I GLASGOW RSAMD (041 332 5057) Paragon Ensemble. 17 Sept; Vladimir Ovchinikov. 12 Oct; Songmakers Almanac. 9 Nov; Leon Spierer/Jack Kearney. 25 Jan; Elly Ameling/Rudolph Jansen.
15Feb; Ralph Kirshbaum/Rogeergnoles. 15 March.
I GLASGOW THEATRE ROYAL (041 332 9000) Scottish Opera/ The Merry Widow. 19.21.30 Sept. 6. 25 Oct. 6. 9 Dec;The Marriage otFigaro. 5. 7. 19. 21 Oct. 5. 7 Dec;Jenuta. 18. 24. 26. 28 Oct; Die Fledennaus. 29. 31 Dec. 3. 4. 6Jan. 21. 24 Feb; Bluebeard’s Castle/ Oedipus Rex. 24.27 Jan. 14 Feb.1 March; La Forzadel Destino. 13. 17. 20. 22 Feb. 3 March; Salome. 25. 28 April. 11. 24. 29 May; Cosi Iantutte 10. 12. 17. 30 May; Madame Butterfly. 23. 26. 31 May. 2. 5June.
I EDINBURGH OUEEN‘S HALL (031 668 2019) SCO/Saraste/Mozart/
After is another solid Arkestra outing. and ifthe music has grown decidedly more disciplined. and considerably less surprising. it has lost little of its sheer exuberance over the years. while John Gilmore remains one of the great tenor players of the age.
I NORMAN HOWARD: Signals (Homeboy Music. cassette only) A fascinating. previously unreleased 1968 session from trumpeter Norman l-loward. who disappeared from view after playing on Albert
Opening Concert. 7 Oct; SCO/Fruhbeck De Burgos/Falla. 12 Oct; SCO/Laredo/Beethoven Triple Concerto. 19 Oct; SCO/LaredO/Bach. 28 Oct. I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (031 2255756) SNO/Thomson/Opening Concert/Martinu 4. 6 Oct; SNO/Katz/Tchaikovsky. 13 Oct; SNO/Jarvi/Mahler 5. 20 Oct; SNO/Bamert/Elgar 2. 27 Oct; SCO/Segal/ Beethoven 6. 2 Nov; SNO/CIeve/Brahms
1. 3 Nov.
JAZZ & FOLK
I AYR GAIETY THEATRE (0292 264639) Carol Kidd Trio/Martin Taylor Quartet. 4 Oct.
I GLASGOW PAVILION (041 332 1846) The Fureys
Ayler's classic Witches and Devils (also known as Spirits ). is now out on cassette. thanks to the effortsof Roy Morris. Ayler's inﬂuence is predictably strong. but Signals demonstrates that I loward possessed a distinctive voice of his own. and leaves us to wonder what he may have gone on to do had he not quit music. Essential listening for anyone interested in the free jazz period. it is available from Homeboy Music. 24 Riverside Gardens. Newport-on-Tay. Fife. DD68NQ (£7 inc. p&p).
plus Davey Arthur. 18 Oct; Christy Moore. 19—20 Oct; The Carries. 24 Nov; Syd Lawrence Orchestra. 25 Nov.
I DUNFERMLINE GLEN PAVILION (0383 720108) Duntermllne Jan Festival. 30 Sept—1 Oct.
I EDINBURGH OUEEN'S HALL (031 668 2019) Bob Berg/Mike Stern Ouintet. 20 Oct; Andy Sheppard Big Band. 10 Nov; 29th Street Saxophone Quartet. 17 Nov; John McLaughlin Trio. 1 Dec; Chris Barber Band. 8 Dec.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (031 225 5756) Christy Moore. 21 Oct; Lionel Hampton Big Band, 26 Oct; Clannad. 19 Nov; Syd Lawrence Orchestra. 27 Nov.
46 The List 1— 14 September 1989