A Joe locke
Vibes maestro Joe Locke won a lot of admirers in successive visits to the Glasgow International Jazz Festival in the late 80s, and augmented that support withjazz fans around the country in associated tours. Locke‘s sparkling mallet work has not been heard in these pans for a while now, however, which makes his return all the more welcome.
Joe originally made it over here at the behest of drummer Bill Kyle, whose New York Jazz and Atlantic Bridge outﬁts introduced a number of Stateside-based players to Scottish audiences. Kyle is again behind the current revival of the Atlantic Bridge band (although just to confuse the issue it is billed in some venues as the Locke-O'Higgins Quintet). with London-based saxman Dave O‘Higgins and bassist Alec Dankwonh teaming up with young Scottish pianist Steve Hamilton. currently studying at Berklee College in Boston.
Locke‘s explosive. essentially linear method on the Vibraphone made a potent partner for O'Higgins‘s meaty saxophone last time around, and both have continued to develop as players in the intervening years. A natural showman as well as a gifted improviser, Locke places himself firmly in the Milt Jackson-Bobby Hutcherson single-line approach to the instrument. rather than Gary Burton’s more pianistic manner.
‘l'm a frustrated tenor saxophone player. 1 guess — l'm trying to play false fingerings on the vibes that just don‘t exist. I listen a lot to horn players. and the vibes players who excite me are the ones coming from that hom-line tradition. i feel that Milt took the vocabulary which Charlie Parker evolved and translated it to the vibes. and Bobby did the same thing with John Coltrane. That‘s what 1 try to express in my playing.‘ (Kenny Mathieson)
The Joe Locke-Dave O’Higgins Quintet are at the Tron Jazz Cellar in Edinburgh on Wed 29. and the MacRobert Centre in Stirling on Thurs 30. See listings entry for subsequent dates.
T in the Park, the Tennents Live Festival
‘Aye, you’ll never iunk the funk,’ said the hep cat in the oversized hat and sporadic chin-growth, ‘partlcularly in Edinburgh.’ Recent months, he pointed out, have seen capital contenders like Funky Feet-Us, llr Octopus and Papa’s Magic Beard kick up a rumpus in such unlikely locations as those hotbeds of garish 70s chic, The Meadow Bar and The Pear Tree. More logically, though, our spokesman singles out the continued good fortunes of funkety- funk club Chocolate City as being of pivotal importance. ‘lt’s a focus for the scene,’ he nodded in a dopey drawl. ‘Man,’ he added, ‘Captain Shifty cut their teeth there. Hey, they’ll even be releasing a single, ‘Thank Funk it’s Friday’ - yeah, it was on ‘llB’ - on Choc Cit’s upcoming label. Cool.’ if they stop playing long enough, and their sartorial foolishness doesn’t blind you, Captain Shifty will tell you that there are eight or nine people in their band. In a feat of logistics and i crammed transits, they recently ' played in Brighton and Bristol. At the latter, a hooker for the Glastonbury Festival was impressed enough to offer them a slot on the jazz stage at i the midsummer vibe-fest. Before that g they’ll be perfecting their pimp-roll for 1 their slot on ‘Around 17’, a documentary series following four teens in various walks of life. Expect ', long shots of loose jams in the studio,
Captain to the bridge
a bit of studs-beat squalor, and hothouse power from a Shifty gig at La Belle Angela. ‘These are really vibey guys,’ reckons our hep and hip funk insider. lie slopes off, with a high five and low job prospects. But, as the ‘Daily llecord’ would have it: he’s cool, he’s funky. And he’s happy. (llatty Threads)
Captain Shifty play The Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh on Sat 18 and The Venue, Edinburgh on Thurs 30. They also appear on ‘Around Seventeen’ on Scottish on Tue 21.
Kind 0 blu ‘
Joe Louis Walker
If the southern states and the southside of Chicago are the spiritual homes of the blues, guitarist and singer Joe Louis Walker has proved that being born in sunny, affluent Califomla is no barrier to a mastery of the music. Walker has a new album out this month on Verve, simply titled ‘JLW’, and is touring as support to Huey Lewis.
The album is typical of the current generation of bluesmen, with the native rawness of the music somewhat smoothed out in slick production and arrangements, but without eliminating its cutting edge. If the California
sunshine has mellowed his music, it’s not entirely apparent to the ears.
‘Well, thing is, I’ve lived all over the United States - I lived in Chicago for a time, and I probably played as much in that style as some of the guys from there, but I’ve also picked up a lot of things in other places. I have a lot of influences, depending on what style of my playing you are talking about. I play a lot of slide guitar, and there I would say people like Mississippi Fred McDowell or Earl llooker. If you are talking about lead guitar, then it would have to be 8.3. King, and for the rhythm guitar and soul type of sounds, then maybe it would be somebody like Bobby Wornack.’
He would add to that a taste for 60s Motown and soul sounds which also emerges on the album, and forms a continuing ‘source of inspiration’ for him. Gospel is another such source, and for a time he played only with the gospel outfit the Spiritual Corinthians, before returning to his first love.
‘The new album is pretty much a continuation of the kind of thing I’ve been doing since I came back to playing blues. I just got to the point where I wanted to do something different again. Gospel is a little one- dimensional as a form of music, but I still like to incorporate something of a gospel nature in my own band, but whatever I play, my main interest is in expressing the emotional side of the music.’ (Kenny Mathieson)
Joe Louis Walker plays as support to lluey lewls at the Playhouse, Edinburgh on Mon 20.
Norman Chalmers picks out the highlight from this year’s Glasgow International Folk Festival. The awe-inspiring voice of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. the world's greatest Qawwal, resounds at this year's Glasgow International Folk Festival. The Pakistani singer, with his Party of about ten musicians and singers, arrives for the major event of the week-long Festival. The City Halls concert is
T in the Park, July 30th and 31 st at Strathclyde Park
30 The List l7—30 June 1994