Every now and then. a concert sneaks up and takes you by surprise. grabs you by the throat. shakes you up and down and around. and dumps you back in your seat like a limp lettuce. These moments are ones to treasure amongst the prevailing mediocrity. and the Clusone Quartet provided just such a roller-coaster ride on their previous appearance in staid old Edinburgh.
The band are back this year. albeit as a Trio this time. having lost pianist Q Huus Janssen somewhere along the way. and their concert at the Queen's Hall should go straight to the top ofthe list ofanyone who values jazz as a music ofsurprise.
Then tere ere three
innovation. and sheer fun.
The Clusone Trio are cellist extraordinaire Ernest Reijseger. saxophonist and clarinetist Michael Moore. and the phenomenal drummer Han Bennick. one ofthe prime movers in European improvised music. and a memorably theatrical performer into the bargain
. ~ once seen. Han is never forgotten. ' and is worth the price of admission on his own.
Individually and as a unit. they
i have succeeded in combining beautiful modern jazz playing with
the best elements of European improvisation. that mixture of inventiveness and humour.
adventure and parody which has characterised that particular strand of the contemporary jazz spectrum. Clusone ﬂy the ﬂag ofnew European jazz within the Festival. although they will be joined under that banner by the Tommy Smith Group with Danish pianist Niels Lan Doky (Queen‘s Hall. 27 Aug. 7.30pm). who replace Oregon.
The Trio’s music largely defies synopsis. except perhaps to say that it remains open to influences which range from jazz — in every style — to classical. infectious popular tunes. to abstract improvisation. and specialises in making abrupt right-angle turns at irregular and unpredictable moments.
The Amsterdam-based trio achieve a level of invention and intuitive interplay which is matched only by the freshness and diversity of their material. and the originality of their approach to it. There may be bigger names on the international jazz scene in this current TDK Round Midnight Festival, but I doubt if there is a more enticing prospect than the one offered by this superb group. Not to be missed. (Kenny Mathieson)
I The Clusone Trio (Fringe) 'I‘DK Round Midnight Jazz Festival. Queen‘s Hall (Venue 72) 668 2019. 29 Aug. 10.3()pm,£6.5().
Jimmnmnll 3 You gotta '
5 There were plenty ol mothers to
. accompany the sons and (more visibly) daughters along to Rob Newman. Not
next year, there won't be. Forthis isn't i the cute and cuddly shy one lrom the
} Mary Whitehouse Experience, but a
l tool-mouthed, risque comic straight
l lrom the Leary school ol decorum. He
; may be a nice middle-class lad (‘l
j lucking hate the working-class, I mean what’s the point of them when you've got machines that can do everything
; they can do’), but it doesn’t stop him
; attacking everything lrom Gull War
§ peace protestors to baby seals. The
i encouraging point is that he can carry all the transition lrom TV golden boy to anarcho-cynic. The man seems to be totally at case, which I guess is more than can be said (or the kids who dragged their parents to this show
_ promising them a really good, clean
Much more suitable is Jack Dee. Not that he doesn’t have his lair share at depravity. It‘s just that parents will be lamiliarwith his routine because he attacks the targets that have been the province of Messrs Carrott and
l Connolly lorthe last decade and a hall.
British Rail, aged aunties with a penchant lor knitting, lamily pets, vomit stories and Subbuteo have all passed from the lips ol the established
‘ stand-ups long belore Dee got hold of i them. The trouble is that when Jasper ? and Billy aimed and tired, they were
2 doing something original and
innovative whereas Dee is merely iollowing meekly in their wake. ldomll il Jenny Lecoat has ever been meek in her lite. Although she likes to give the impression at being a :. simpering appendage of her boyfriend, ' I certainly wouldn't like to be the object at her ‘attection’. Alter a relaxed i settling in period, Lecoat gets onto 9 what is obviously her favourite topic; E namely sex, or rather the inadequacy at it when men are involved. As with Dee, this is a well traversed route but there’s
nothing plagiaristic about the way Lecoat sets about everything that the men in the audience hold dear. Naturally, the women are soon eating out 01 her hand but as with all truly great comics, the objects other ridicule cannot help laughing either. She tests the water every now and then, scouring the audience for signs at shock, but even when these
materialise, it only acts as a spur. As the act progresses, the allusions become more and more outrageous ; and, against our better judgement, the i laughter gets louder. j Lecoat’s partner, Richard Morton 1 really has very little to do because the audience are so warmed up as to be f white hot. He also cannot resist one or ; seventeen jokes about sex but he supplements this with some - dangerously anti-royal jibes that would have republicans winclng. Rejoined by i Lecoat at the linale, there is one at the 5 comedy highlights ol the Fringe with an anti-Windsor compilation set to the tunes of Abba. Well worth staying up (or. (Philip Parr) . Rob Newman (Fringe), George Square . Theatre (Venue 37) 667 3704, until 25 ;_ Aug, 11.45pm, £7 (£6).
Jack Dee (Fringe), Assembly (Venue 3) j 220 4349, until 31 Aug, 10pm, . £6.50/£7.50 (£5.50/£6.50). 3 Jenny Lecoat and Richard Morton (Fringe), Assembly (Venue 3) 220 i 4349, until 24 Aug, midnight, | 2650/2150($15.50/$36.50).
, Richard Morton Lecoat latches onto the favoured
Philip Parr checks out the late-night talent.
I Beethoven’s Not Dead Fringe performers with a musical bent — Miles and Millner. Jim Tavarc and | Bob Downe strut their collective stuff. In this year'sextortionate ! Fringe. three for the price ofone cannot be bad ’ Beethoven '5 Not Dead ' (Fringe), Queen '3‘ Hall (Venue 72) 6682019, 23-25Aug, 11pm, [8. I
I Jenny Lecoat and
HITLIST j l l
topics of all comedians. l sex and royalty. but adds a newspice andoriginality. é Morton supports well. i Jenny Lemar and Richard Morton (Fringe). . Assembly ( Venue 3 ) 220 4349, until 24 A ug. midnight. [6.50/17 . 50 (£5.5()/£6.5()).
I Ennio Marchetto Paper costumes and miming to records can be funny (honestly). Opinion is divided about the man.
but he does fulfil the criteria of ‘originality‘ which only about 1pcr
cent of fringe performers succeed in achieving. [innio Mare/retro (Fringe), ‘ The I’leasance ( Venue 33) 556 6550, until 31 A ug (not 22. 29). 11.30pm, [6.50/17 (£5 . 50 (£0) .
I The Wall Cambridge students doingthingsto , the dulcet tones of Roger 3 Waters. What could be more splendid?
The Wall (Fringe) ' Cambridge University _- 3"" 3'3"? Amateur Dramatic Club, 3"" son"? Caltun Studios (Venue 7] ) ? Wha' kind at 556 7060. until 31 Aug (not macaw m lues), 11.30pm. 16(5). “"7631",;
late night venue
I Bill Hicks Believe the hype if you dare. Buy a
ticket ifyou can. But. for
God‘s sake. don't take the kiddies or the great aunts. Dangerous~ ( Fringe) Bill
Hicks, Assembly ll'ildi‘at (Venue [1(5) 220 4349.
‘ until.” Aug, [0.15pm.
j [0. 5/) (1’5) .
The List 23 — 2‘) August l‘)‘)l 51