Thursday, November 27, 2014

Celebrating 75 years of Blue Note Records at the Royal Festival Hall

Saturday 22-November-2014

The first half was an extended, hour long duet by Jason Moran and Robert Glasper and it was mesmerising. It wandered through a whole range of styles. I am not sure whether it was an actual composition or whether they had a structure and improvised within that. Either way it was gripping. What also came across was how much fun they were having, that is something you can't see with a recording, you only get that with a live performance.

London Jazz News wrote: "This was a performance redolent of Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea’s great duets, even culminating in Maiden Voyage – albeit Glasper’s Radiohead-infused version. Both pianists made their own distinct styles clear: Moran with percussive prepared piano and blues licks; Glasper with irresistible harmonies and allusions to R&B. Given its intensity, this first half would have proved ample celebration for many." Full review...

After the interval an all-star sextet took to the stage after the interval: Glasper was joined by Marcus Strickland (sax), Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet), Lionel Loueke (guitar), Kendrick Scott (drums) and Derrick Hodge (bass).

London Jazz News again: "The concert concluded with Message of Hope from Hodge’s first album as leader, providing a fitting, almost spiritual end to proceedings. With artists this talented, collaborating as well as they did here, it’s clear that the future of the label is in good hands. An exceptional evening which gave proof - if any were needed - that Blue Note is in rude health at 75 years old."

I would second that - an excellent and thoroughly enjoyable concert.

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