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.