October 30, 2007

Esbjorn Svensson Trio

Went to a good concert last week. It's good having The Arts Centre on your doorstep. Back in 1983 we (Paddy Flavelle and me) bought a series of tickets for Jazz (cheaper if you got  a pass for all of them). There was everything from stuff we already knew (Barbara Thompson) and stuff we hadn't (Erene Sweitzer) and it was the start of an on-off but mostly on love affair with Jazz.

These days I like Tord Gustavson alot but EST (Esbjorn Svensson Trio) are really up there - they have a real range. They played a good deal from Viaticum - this is their newest offering and has a more awkward and darker tone than other albums.

What was really provocative about the performance was the genre dialogue between Portishead type atmos-ambience and hendrix type bass guitar felatio and then more standard experimental Jarretty stuff. Sometimes it goes off on a melodic journey and then comes crashing into a pink floyd moment and within single tracks there's cinemascope and portable Radiohead sound bites.

There's not doubt that they owe a debt to Jarrett but you don't get quite so much elegiac meandering. Svensson's piano style is wonderful but it Dan Berglund's range on the bass that keeps you constantly wondering what's coming next. He keeps up the bass rythym, puts in drone and theromin (?) type waverings, lead solos and harmonics.  Magnus Ostrom adds texture and occasional solos but his solos are a little contained and I reckon he should push the boat out in the same way as Ostrom,

I liked this latest EST chapter and if you get the chance to see it, go.

October 04, 2007

First week

So, this is my first week at Warwick and the first impressions are good. I've been reading some of my students blogs and feel that I should dip my toe. I had a tutorial with Li Ping and then looked at her blog and it added another dimension to what she told me face-to-face. She's inspired me to start one and so here goes...

I was here (living in Tocil Flats) in 1983 and got my first taste of teaching in the area. I did a teaching practice in Chelmsley Wood (Whitesmore) and then in Leamington (Bishop Bright). Now I'm back on the block. Back in a blog. One of my claims to fame was that when I was on teaching practice, my tutor was the playwright Andrew Davis http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/theatre_s/staff/andrew_davies/

He came to see me dressed like Dr Who (perhaps an even longer scarf) and two skinheads gave him a bit of hard time. I had to teach two groups for that Drama lesson - the two skinheads and the rest of the class. I remember it well because the night before some kids had smashed all the windows in the classroom.

So, its nice to back and walking about Campus is something of a constant time ping pong (1983 and 2007).

Yo Sushi

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