Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Jazz Festival Review: Closing Night Special

Jazz Festival Review: Closing Night Special

Review by Tyler Hersey

The New Zealand
Dominion Centenary Concert Band
Click to enlarge

The New Zealand Dominion Centenary Concert Band

Closing Night Special
The Frontroom
November 11, 8pm

Opening the final show of the Wellington Jazz Festival was the amusing yet inscrutable New Zealand Dominion Centenary Concert Band, who combined drums and brass with inflated balloons and dry humour. Dressed in an array of military uniforms, the group fiddled about on their instruments while calling out names of New Zealand icons such as Dick Hubbard and Ed Hillary. Not your normal jazz fest fare; band leader John T Bell conceded that the group was more accustomed to playing "official events, such as pedestrian crossing openings and gallery closings". After a strange run through a Korean pop song which featured a well-played reed melody by Choi Jae Kyung, the performance closed with a particularly un-rousing version of "God Save the Queen", complete with words mumbled by a crowd who appreciated this satire of pomp and circumstance.

The evening's main event was a set by New York imports Susie Ibarra and Roberto Roderigez, who have worked in the Downtown Manhattan avant garde jazz scene with such diverse performers as acclaimed contemporary composer John Zorn and art noise rockers Sonic Youth. While their laptop and percussion soundscapes did evoke some interesting scenes, Ibarra's compositions stayed firmly rooted in the realm of generic downbeat world music. The performance caused wave after wave of shuffling and yawning amongst the audience, who probably expected something a lot more upbeat and engaging from the Saturday night grand finale.

The most interesting part of the Ibarra/Roderiguez collaboration was the electronic treatments of Ibarra's kulintang instrument, which consisted of a series of inverted metal bowls of varying sizes that are played somewhat like a xylophone. Sharing the same lineage as Indonesian Gamelan, Ibarra describes the result as "Filipino trance music", which is a fairly accurate assessment. Unfortunately, the trance was a little too deep for the meagre crowd, even with the occasional addition of heavy, Latin-inspired drum beats by Rodriguez. The duo has developed an interesting project, but they were not a good fit for their time slot. By the time the band took an encore, the venue was emptying out. Booked for a Sunday evening or a smaller gig in the confines of Happy, the show could have gone over quite well.

Finishing off the evening was the New Pacific Music Ensemble, who combined the heavy percussion of log drums with lilting ukulele strums and a latin-flavoured rhythm section. It was a joy to see Wellington's best drummer, Chris O'Connor, drive the music, but the songwriting of leader Andrew McMillan failed to capture the audience as well as it had during their sunny afternoon show in Frank Kitts Park. Once again, an interesting project which could be very rewarding if it possessed more compelling melodies and an appropriate time slot.

********

Wellington International Jazz festival homepage: www.jazzfestival.co.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news