Monday, 1 June 2009
Quick heads up on a fantastic channel I just discovered on youtube - short (1-2 minute) videos featuring many great jazz and improv performers during the 1980s, recorded at a jazz club in Paris. American jazzers like Sonny Sharrock (kicking out the jams in typically mind-boggling fashion and breaking a guitar string in the process without missing a beat - total, joyous concentration - just look at his face in the clip embedded above! - and then spinning out some surprisingly gentle jazz balladry) and Mal Waldron (with some great, hard blowing from saxophonist Richard Raux), British free improvisers Lol Coxhill (doing one of his wonderful spoken word pieces with the Recedents), Steve Beresford, and John Stevens, and European mavericks like Jac Berrocal (swinging bells and cymbals around while dressed in leather trousers and jacket). Of particular interest for me are the two videos of a band I've recently discovered - Ted Milton's British No-Wave-style band Blurt. Great chance to see his performative antics as lead singer and saxophonist. And then there's the extremely powerful vocal stylings of Basque singer Benat Achiary, duetting with soprano saxophonist Michel Toneda: a blend of raw folk tradition with the unpredictability of improv that reminds me a little of the work of Ghedalia Tazartes. Will have to track down their recordings together - I could do with some more of that! Would be nicer if the clips were longer, but, as it is, it's a great cross-section of things - give yourself half an hour, pop all the videos into a youtube playlist, and watch multiple delights unfold.
Link is here: