JAZZ DAVID MURRAY MBIZO Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, Wed 1 Aug.
It has been well over a decade since David Murray’s titanic tenor saxophone was heard in Edinburgh, although he has made a couple of appearances along the M8 in the intervening years. The last time he played this venue he had just bass and drums for company, but his long overdue return will be in a more spectacular format.
The concert is a UK exclusive for his thirteen- piece band, David Murray Mbizo. The group features the legendary World Saxophone Quartet - Murray, Oliver Lake, Hamiett Bluiett (who prefers to be known just by his surname these days) and John Purcell - alongside South African jazz stars Louis Moholo, Pinise Saul and Lucky Ranku, and a vocal quartet from Soweto.
Murray has explored the African connection before, including taking part in the spectacular World Cup parade in his adopted home of Paris, and recording with local musicians in Senegal. He retains a seemingly insatiable appetite for exploring new musical areas.
‘l’ll continue trying to be creative in whatever I do,’ he says. ‘There are a lot of people out there who like to play the same things over and over, but I am constantly trying to make myself change and do something different. For me, the music I play with cats in Senegal or South Africa
Henry’s Jazz Cellar, Edinburgh, Tue 31 Jul—Wed 1 Aug.
The Jazz Festrval programme rs full of famrlrar names. but Atornrc are one of the bands Irker to rarse the guestron: ‘Who they’?’ The answer rs that they are a jornt Nonvegran-Swedrsl'r OUIfll made up of some of the leadrng rmprovrser's rnvolved rn what rs seen as a
new wave Of progresswe jazz rn Scandrnavra.
Atornrc are led by bass:st lngebrrght Flaten. who rs jorned by pranrst Hoevard Wrrk and drummer Paal erssen-Love. two of hrs colleagues from an earlrer Nerwegran Outfrt. Element. They are jerned rn turn by two Swedes. saxophonist Fredrrk Ljunggvrst (who has just recerved an award as Swedrsh jazz musrcran of the yearr and the newest recrurt. trumpeter Magnus Broo. whose Influences Include Freddre Hubbard, Woody Shaw and Don Cherry.
Scandrnavra has a strong jazz tradrtron. currently ranging from Jan Garbarek's cool exploratrons of Norwegran folk musrc through to the explosrve Esbjorn Svenssen Trro (also featured rr‘. the Festrvall and the fusron of Jazz and contemporary dance grooves
or Guadaloupe is definitely part of my jazz background. It's also an exchange - I learn about their rhythms, in exchange for my imparting what I know about jazz.
‘Basically, I was trying to create some good music to show people in other parts of the world what a jazz musician can do given a free hand at things,’ continues Murray. ‘l’m recognising and responding to the different types of rhythms, but the way I’m playing is not so different. I’m learning, and I’m trying to absorb things, but I’m not trying to change my style of playing.’
Murray was born in California, but evolved that style in the ferment of the New York jazz scene from the mid-70$. His own early role models ranged from the swing and bebop of Ben Webster and Charlie Parker through to Albert Ayler’s free jazz maelstrom. ‘It took me a long time to develop my own concept and my own sound in the music, but that is what you have to do in any of the arts. You study others at first, because you’re not gonna come on it all by yourself, but you have to keep working at getting that sound of your own.’
Murray has long since conquered that challenge, and remains one of the most exciting and inventive saxophonists currently playing jazz. As a bonus spin-off from this concert, Oliver Lake and Bluiett will team up with our very own Trio AAB at La Belle Angele on Monday 30 July. (Kenny Mathieson)
takrng place wrthrn the so-called New Oslo Underground lFlaten works regularly wrth one of that scene's leadrng lrghts. pranrst
JAZZ VITAL INFORMATION
One cool jazz cat
Weaving a tapestry
The band formed rn 1999. and see therr mrssron as berng to contrnue advanCrng the cause of pregresswe jazz. takrng up where Element left off. but also expandrng therr musrc rn new drrectrons. That musrc. says Flaten, ‘rs rnsprred from the mtlSIC of post- Coltranersts lrke Archre Shepp. Pharoah Sanders. Dewey Redman, and Kerth Jarrett among others. but mrxed wrth the European avant-garde tradrtron.‘ (Kenny Mathresonl
52 THE LIST re Jul—2 Aug 3301
Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Sun 29 Jul.
Drummer Steve Smrth launched the very frrst rnearnatron of Vrtal lnforrr‘aton back rn the early 808. and has led the group through r‘any phases of developrrrent Srnce then. A veteran of both rock Mommy» and jazz Steps Ahead: bands. Srnrth has gathered a group of lrke-n‘rrnded rndrvrduals to push the boundarres of that often drscredrted genre.
The Current lrne-up features former Santana keyboard rr‘an Torr‘ Coster on an arsenal of electrrc keyboards. :ncludrng Harrir’nond [3-3. Fender Rhodes. Korg Trrnrty. and even rshades of Joe Zarrrnuir accordron. Frank Genreale's fluent gurtar lrcks and Baron Bron-mes ftlt‘ky bass lrnes complete the sound prcture. It's a powerful conttmnatron, rf therr' latest drsc. Snow ‘Err: ‘.'.//ter'e You L .e :s anythrng to go by
‘The trtle .vas sornethrng a rr‘usrclan shouter at he years ago .‘xt‘rerr l was rn the mrddle of solo." Smrth explarned. 'The phrase stayed wrth rr*e over the years. because I felt rt descrrbed exactly .vhat l tryrng to do m that sole. and rn my ntusrc rn general. That's .‘rhat tnrs record about. It reflects the sound .‘xe have developed Over the last couple of alburr‘s. and from playrrrg on the road. We are tryrng to get looser and trghter at the sarre tarrie. and .r/e're tt‘aklng rrtusv, that re vrtal and alrve rrght now.‘
Thrs ml: be the band's frrst trrrre rn SCOIiaWJ. Therr approach to the fusron genre rs a supple and rrrtagrnatrve one, They are aware o‘ .vhat has gone before. but steer clear of renasnrng trred genre clrcnes. Frank Gambale. last. heard rn Scotland natth Cher Cerea‘s Elektrrk Band. uses a serrtr-acoustrc archtop gurtar rather than a SOLO bod; electrrc. .‘mrch glyes hrnr a lrghter, more jazz-errented more than n many of hrs earlrer prejects. and the band weaxe a begurlrng tt‘tlS'Ca: tapestry around hrm tKenn, Mathreson;