n’" "M" if. . 'i .‘ For once. the hype is justified. Levitation. the band formed by
ex-l louse of Love wonderboy guitarist 'l'erry Bickers. is probably the least trivial band in existence. Watching them live is akin to witnessing an incendiary device self-destruct. then reassemble only to self-destruct again moments later. Nerves are shredded. worry beads are recommended. Listening to their records is no less stimulating. but considerably less stressful. So far they‘ve managed to get their heads round two EPs. both displaying a more coherent distillation of their cerebral aggression tactics. Levitation are rejuvenating that early 70s millstone ‘prog rock' with matchless dexterity. For all the hyperbolic adjectives fired at House of Love. they were but mildly distracting compared to this lunacy. No wonder the band take to the trees for photo shoots. Five minutes in the company of their torrid maelstrom would have Mr Logic scaling tall buildings. At this rate they‘ll all be incarcerated by Christmas.
‘We have anxiety attacks as soon as we start up. because you don‘t know where it's going to go.‘ admits Laurence. the group‘s bass-playing force of relative normality. ‘A song should just be a basic format and as soon as it kicks off and starts going somewhere else that‘s when it starts to get better. It‘s not fusion in the catalogue sense of the word. these things literally just happen. it‘s the nature ofthe beast. lfanything‘s planned it‘s that complete element of uncertainty and unfathomableness.‘
In uttering this paradox. Laurence is stabbing near the heart of Levitation. Because you can map out the coordinates — Roland D-2l) keyboards. mountainous drumming. galactic guitars— that form the equation but you can't come close to completing it. You just have to be there when they reach their i destination. Levitation are out to I claim your mind. The precipice g beckons. (Fiona Shepherd)
j Levitation play King 'I‘ut's Wah Wah j Hut. Glasgow on Sat 19.
l ---- 34 The List 11 — 24 October 1991
Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis is the latest, and arguably the best known, member of the Marsalis clan to visit Scotland, following in the wake of father Ellis (with Courtney Pine at the end of last year) and big brother Brantord a few weeks ago.
Given that this should be one of the major jazz events of the year, it has been curiously under-publicised by both the London-based promoters and the Concert Hall, who are notoriously bad at disseminating information to the media.
Marsalis made his name as the sometimes controversial figure-head of the 80s jazz revival, but the tag of bop revivalism hung on his music was an inadequate summation of his approach to the classic jazz style of the 50s and 603. His hands may have sounded—and looked like—the Miles Davis quintets of that period, but the music was a distinctly contemporary twist on the genre.
His purist attitude led to a fair amount of public squabbling with other musicians who did not share his attitude to jazz, such as trumpeter Lester Bowie, who deplored his lack of innovation. Marsalis remained unmoved, and responded by delving even further back into jazz history for his inspiration.
He has been busy of late, as the US
three new albums will testify. They continue his exploration of music derived from early New Orleans jazz and blues begun on ‘The Majesty Of The Blues’, but as yet have no release date over here. CBS will, however, issue his soundtrack music from ‘Tune In Tomorrow’, a film adaptation of Mario Vargas Llosa‘s novel ‘Aunt Julia And The Scriptwriter’, which transposes the story from Lima to New Orleans, in time for his visit. (Kenny Mathieson)
The Wynton Marsalis Band play the
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Tue 15.
release of not one, or even two, but Wynton Marsalis V FOLK Ripping yarns 3*
Linda Williamson is an American who came over here at first studying music, then traditional song, and, through that, the whole oral tradition. She ran the first Storytelling Agency in Scotland, putting educational establishments and venues in touch with sources. She talks about the forthcoming Scottish Storytelling Festival.
‘The Festival goes some of the way to satisfying the demand for storytelling. Year afteryear, there‘s been an increase in demand, notjust from schools, but from the general public, and the Festival acts as a focus for all that interest.
‘It is an art form, probably the oldest, as it is the baseline of literature and drama, and perhaps even the visual arts; but it is not elitist, it‘s very much part of the folk tradition, although just recently it very nearly died out.
‘It‘s a measure of the revival of interest that this third annual festival has over thirty artists, and you will find the oldertradition bearers rubbing
< f "“
Ouncan Williamson teaching a schoolboy, the trump. or Jew‘s harp.
shoulders with young learners, as well as storytellers from Ireland, America, the Caribbean, Sri Lanka and Gaelic-speaking Cape Breton.‘
Duncan Williamson, born on the shores of Loch Fyne more than 50 years ago into a traveller family of storytellers, singers and musicians, has no doubt as to the value of the festival.
‘But I've been at storytelling festivals in America. For instance Jonesborough, in Tennessee, is coming up to its twentieth! They are seventeen years ahead of us. And it was the Scottish people who took their stories overthere!
‘You need an audience. You couldn‘t tell a story if no one listened, but do you know what makes a good storyteller? Well I'll tell you — it‘s the same as what makes a good listener.‘ (Norman Chalmers)
The Scottish Storytelling Festival takes place at the Netherbow Arts Centre, Edinburgh from 17 Oct—1 Nov.
1 EEngﬁsh ; cgncert
season. ltdinburghs (ieorgian(‘oncert Society continucstoprodueca series of concerts noted for their excellence. cntcrpriseandinnovative
spirit. from its lllst venue.
the ( ieorgian l louse in (‘harlotte Square. the Society soon moved on to ; bringoutstandingearly musicensentblestoSt (lecilia’s l lull in the i ('owgate. lidinburgh's 'i original (ieorgian concert ball. Now . audiencesaie still expanding and the : Society . from time to 1 time. necdstoutilisethe even bigger capaciton (ircyiriars Kirk. lllis year. with the first ev er appearance in Scotland of 'l he linglish ( ‘oncert. the season will open at (ireylriarson l‘)()ctober. l'nder its director. harpsichordist'I‘revor l’innock. it is well established asone of . liurope‘sforemost period instrument chamber orchestras. particularly throughitsmany best-selling and award- vyinning recordings. Asked w hy the ( ‘oncert play s on period instruments. l’innoek replies. ‘lt is simple we wanted to use the most suitable tools for the job. These instruments were good enough for Bach; surely they must be good enough for tis.‘ l’art ofthe
that the orchestra beliey es that such vivid performances have more
appeal for the general
listener as well as the specialist. ‘l'.ven the most frequently heard compositions were refreshed by their clarity and blend.‘ says l’innoek. "l'he historical aspect is interesting. but history has little place on the concert platform. For its as musicians. the instruments have gone
beyond history to become a natural part ofour niusicalexpression.‘
(( 'arol Main)
'1 he ling/[sh ( ~omen,
( irey'friurs Kirk. ('undlemuker Row, lidin/mrg/i. Sat 1‘) ()(‘l a!