Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kieran Hebden And Steve Reid

Wonderful performance by knob twiddler Kieran Hedben (aka Four Tet) and old jazz soldier, the drummer Steve Reid, on Saturday 20th June at the Ornette Coleman Meltdown festival in the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London's South Bank.
They've been collaborating for a while (check their site) and the experiment is mutating interestingly. Hebden's complete technical mastery - not to mention his penchant for the off-centre, melodic and pleasantly downbeat - created amazing new forms out of the already virtuoso sonic explorations of Reid and saxophonist Mats Gustafsson.

Music reflects mood, perhaps none more so than jazz. This is why I think a lot of contemporary jazz sounds isolated and icy as these days jazz is seen as something intellectual, a minority interest, the preserve of misfits. Contrast this with, say, the energy of Blakey's band in Paris in '58. So full of life, meaning, relevance and vibrancy. But Hebden and Reid (and Gustafsson) have, on this evidence, found a place for the endless conversation of jazz to become vital again. Let us hope that there will be an audience for this stuff too. Unfortunately, the crowd was pretty docile on the night and quite a few left early. Fucked up, but it was a great set anyway.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Roll The Dice by Charles Bukowski

if you’re going to try, go all the
otherwise, don’t even start.

if you’re going to try, go all the
way. this could mean losing girlfriends,
wives, relatives, jobs and
maybe your mind.

go all the way.
it could mean not eating for 3 or
4 days.
it could mean freezing on a
park bench.
it could mean jail,
it could mean derision,
isolation is the gift,
all the others are a test of your
endurance, of
how much you really want to
do it.
and you’ll do it
despite rejection and the
worst odds
and it will be better than
anything else
you can imagine.

if you’re going to try,
go all the way.
there is no other feeling like
you will be alone with the
and the nights will flame with

do it, do it, do it.
do it.

all the way
all the way.
you will ride life straight to
perfect laughter,
it’s the only good fight
there is.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Art and Music

The piece is by Alkan, the picture is "La répétition" by Edgar Degas from 1873.