Call of nature
i’ Justwhen youthoughtit i was safe to go back in the
clubs for a night out without being caught up in some social revolution . . .
. Yes. it‘s happening again.
and in South London. with Natural Life at the forefront. Natural Life have been surging both forwards and backwards while the rest ofthe country remains fixated on house and techno. Be true to your roots, the manifesto runs. and everyone in their twenties today would have to admit that they got into music when live musicians were making it. Natural Life don‘t use samplers or drum machines. and spurned the click track in the studio. (They‘ve also been known to record stark naked. but that‘s moving away from the point.)
Being children ofthe 90s too. they voice the ideals ofthe rave generation. ‘Music‘s always been a really uncensorable form of communication .' says the hirsute singer Jon. ‘and we hope to use it toits fullest.‘
I even had ‘Strange World' pegged as a pagan song. until we agreed to call it ‘cco-friendly‘.
‘I think we may well be the first band to package a CD album in recycled cardboard. We‘re having real difficulty getting it done, but as soon as someone‘s done it the ball will start rolling.‘
With moves like that. they hope to make their own small but definite mark on the resource-draining music business while their own records will be making their own small but definite mark on the oil
The mystery of why there are three former plumbers in this seven-piece has never
; been satisfactorily
explained. Divine inspiration cannot be ruled out. (Alastair Mabbott)
Natural Life support The Farm at the Barro wland, Glasgow on Sun I.
' where she was a contemporary oi
' Finding a voice
The voice is the most immediately distinctive jazz instrument oi them all, and Sheila Jordan has one oi the most distinctive voices ln jazz. Her sinuous treatment oi a melody line is stroneg iniluenced by ‘the inspiration and the spiritual aspects’ oi Charlie Parker’s playing, and she has stuck with pure jazz singing throughout her career, preierrlng to use a day job as a secretary ior iinancial support, rather than sing anything which smacked oi
She iirst heard Parker on a juke box In 5 her Detroit high school as a teenager,
‘ Tommy Flanagan, Barry Harris and
Kenny Burrell, but did not start to sing proiessionally until the mid-50s in New York, by which time she was married to the pianist Duke Jordan.
‘Well, you know, I never really took the protessional aspect oi singing all that seriously. I sang irom a need to sing, and irom a need to express myseli emotionally, because oi my background and many things in my liie.
It was a release oi the pain and the i obstacles in my way as a child and a
In the 60s, Jordan cut sides lor Blue Note on the recommendation oi George Russell, and later worked with Steve Kuhn, and In a superb duet with bassman Harvie Swartz. In 1987, however, she gave up her job and devoted hersell lull-time to singing, the iirst iruits oi which can be heard on ‘Lost and Found’ (Muse). In her latest visit to Edinburgh, she will sing with the Brian Kellock Trio lorthe iirst time, but she has no qualms about working with the local players when on the road.
‘Ho, none at all, in tact I iind that very exciting. One oi my all-time favourite things Is to go out and work with new musicians, contrary to what a lot oi other singers ieel. It’s so exciting to make that connection -I love that sense oi the unexpected.’ (Kenny Mathieson)
Sheila Jordan plays the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh on Fri 22.
Held in Tryst
Ending the talk iestival year, the Glasgow Tryst runs irom Mon 25—Sat
30, with a line up oi reliable Scottish
Most oi the groups and artists will be well known to Glasgow audiences (see listings) but perhaps the Dundee 800
l l periormers. i i g concert will open a iew Glasgow ears to i
the distinctive musical tradition oi
; background, and Sheena Wellington
women’s voices. Gordon Drummond
‘ Teallach complete the line tor one ol
Tayside and Jute City. Jim Reid’s songs have won him a strong iollowlng away irom his Foundry Bar Band
and Maureen Jelks contribute strong and the iine bothy/cellldh group An the Tryst’s major concerts.
The other major concert presents the
only overseas band ol the iestival. With two star performers in singer Len
30 The List 22 November— 5 December 1991
Graham and accordion player Mairtin O’Connor, Skylark also has Garry D’Briain on keyboards and Irets, with Gerry O’Connor on ilddle, and iuses the various regional styles oi Irish music, managing to avoid sounding bland or— worse -just like any other post-Planxty
; Irish band.
Their verve and enjoyment is partly a
a product oi not being a lull-time band,
which is always a wearing experience in which the music suiters, but also in the depth at their singer and box player’s experience.
Mairtln O’Connor is a virtuoso box player. His two-row accordion evolved irom the one-row push-pull melodeon and is a completely chromatic instrument, albeit with some halr-saising lingering problems in some oi the more remote key signatures. It is the standard accordion used in Irish traditional music, giving a tone, tilt and bounce which the piano box does not quite match. Mairtin has recorded with Boys Di The Lough, and was In De Danaan with Mary Black during one oi the band’s most adventurous periods. His own solo album is so eclectic that Irish traditional music is scarcely audible among the ragtime, cajun, country, eastern European, klezmer and iandangos. (Norman Chalmers) Skylark play the Henry Wood Halt, Glasgow on Thurs 28.
: Alastair Mabbotton ; Philip Jeck’sinnovative ’ turntable orchestra.
3 ‘I‘m not anti-CDC protests turntable artist PhilipJeck. ‘It‘s just that I‘ve
I got a huge record collection. If I'm
' going to move into another format,
; I‘ll wait for DAT or Digital Compact '
Cassette. so at least I can tape what
I‘ve already got.‘
Philip Jeck does not possess a
compact disc player. He does.
however — and audiophiles can stop
; reading now— employ around 80
; ageing Dansette-style record players .
from the 50s and 60s in his three-year ! celebration ofanalogue E reproduction. A Vinyl Requiem.
‘Vinyl is fading.‘ he sighs. ‘It‘s been superseded and outsold by CD and cassette. and in the end only , specialist shops will have them. I i believe that in Japan they‘ve practically stopped making records now.‘
So. as the ‘Last Post‘ plays for the era of black vinyl, Jeck has prepared his own version of the 21-gun salute to commemorate it. Visitors to the Tramway will see and hear one segment from the Requiem, ‘The