Redman's Rhythmic Reveries Live The Dream At Manchester Jazz Fest

Matt-Ahern-Joshua-Redman-1

Joshua Redman (top), looking super svelte in suit and dicky bow, is in a mischievous mood. "This is where The Beatles are from, right?" he enquires before introducing his quartet to a near-1000 capacity audience at Manchester's Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) theatre. It's a slightly awkward moment prompting more gasps than laughs, but it passes quickly as Redman's Still Dreaming quartet hit the gears with a breath-taking, genuinely world-class performance. The band is a tribute to a tribute: the mid-1970/80s Old and New Dreams quartet celebrated Ornette Coleman with a line-up of his band alumni, among them Joshua's father Dewey. This being their only UK performance, it was a scoop that entirely lived up to its promise. Redman Jr can sometimes come across as a little too slick in his effortless virtuosity and breezy persona, basically lacking that cutting edge. Not tonight though: there was a naked intensity and raw spontaneity about the playing, each band member navigating an inspired route through the open-ended harmonies, deep blues inflections and freed-up instrumental roles of early acoustic-era Ornette on memorable tunes written by the maestro himself, by Redman Sr, Don Cherry, Charlie Haden and Ed Blackwell as well as the band's originals. Redman and the cornetist Ron Blake's phenomenally quick-witted exchanges, the superlative drummer Brian Blade's sonically mouth-watering percussive orchestration and bassist Scott Colley's biting rhythmic phrasing were just a few of the highlights.

David-McLenachan-Cottonolopis-3

The festival's annual Irwin Mitchell mjf originals commission, now in its 20th year, went to the local keyboardist-composer Andy Stamatakis-Brown (above), who took on an intriguingly ambitious concept that drew together two of the city's most pivotal working-class cultural epochs: the 1990s Madchester dance scene and its status as a pioneering industrialised city, over two centuries earlier. The scene perfectly set in Wellington Mill at a former cotton mill turned warehouse rave party venue near the Etihad, his episodic 80-minute suite 'Cottonopolis' (pictured below) connected up Balearic dance and St Germain-ish house with loops of the trance-like rattle of a loom machine sampled from the local Museum of Science and Industry and projected as images onto cotton sheets hanging from the walls. Stamatakis-Brown chucked in some smart-sounding ensemble jazz riffs, and if it was more an exercise in nostalgia than innovation for those old enough to remember, the newest generation of 24 Hour Party People lapped it up.

EJ-Trivett-Cottonopolis-

Elsewhere, the 2017 #Jazz100 forward-looking centenary campaign that peaked here with a marathon 100 bands in 100 hours, was already in full swing with artistic director Steve Mead's focus on programming new bands taking place in the main festival square, and for the first time in the charming ambience of the art deco Salon Perdu Spiegeltent. The rain in Manchester might be a well-worn cliché, but it bucketed down nearly all the first week leading to an inevitable drop in attendance and staff morale. The weather though thankfully picked up just previous to the last weekend for a Brexit-bashing Dutch contemporary jazz strand (that had earlier included the highly rated Kaja Draksler) with proggy fusion quartet Even Sanne, led by the Israeli guitarist Eran Har Even and the impressive singer-songwriter Sanne Huijbregts, whose animated folk-jazz scat-inflected vocal could have benefited from a more imposing presence at front-of-stage. One Million Faces Inwardness is a trio led by French percussionist Davy Sur, their subtly dynamic, ambient tone poems on themes selected by the audience interpreted entirely on-the-fly; a 'Polar Bear' was artfully illustrated by Polish guitarist Maciek Pysz's sliding bass growls and David Amar's haunting FX-laden, North African-influenced soprano sax. While the Nordic trio of Medbøe/Eriksen/Halle aurally decorated the towering spires of nearby St Ann's Church with wistfully improvised mood music, the highly experienced North west chamber duo of Impossible Gentlemen reedsman Iain Dixon and pianist Les Chisnall took a more direct yet exquisite 'classic' chamber route in Salon Perdu. The pick of the bunch though was trio Sawa that highlighted the vocals of the Iraqi, London based Alya Al-Sultani and a gripping dialogue between cellist Shirley Smart and German pianist Clemens Christian Poetzsch, drawing passionately on elements from middle-eastern folk, minimalism, improv and classical music. It was a quirkily adventurous genre-mix that's typical of this most untypical of UK-based jazz festivals.

– Selwyn Harris

– Photos by Matt Ahern (top) and David McLenachan (middle) and EJ Trivett (bottom)

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website

If you do not change browser settings, you consent to continue. Learn more

I understand

Breaking News

Edwards and Castle pursue chaotic pulse at The Verdict

Edwards and Castle pursue chaotic pulse …

  'Crossover' is a word much employed by critics when talking...

Read More.....
Mark Guiliana makes mark as Jazz Middelheim's artist-in-residence

Mark Guiliana makes mark as Jazz Middelh…

Jazz Middelheim is a great jazz fest situated in front...

Read More.....
Marius Neset, Nils Landgren and Tonbruket light up Ystad Jazz Fest

Marius Neset, Nils Landgren and Tonbruke…

Now in its eighth year the Ystad Jazz Festival (not...

Read More.....
Hyelim Kim and Alice Zawadzki get K-Music kicking

Hyelim Kim and Alice Zawadzki get K-Musi…

This year's edition of the London Festival of Korean Music...

Read More.....
Binker & Moses 'Fete By The River' – Video Exclusive

Binker & Moses 'Fete By The River' –…

  Clap your pies on this vid exclusive from award-winning London...

Read More.....
Steve Lehman and Pat Metheny Lead The Moldejazz Pack

Steve Lehman and Pat Metheny Lead The Mo…

Flying north-west from Oslo on a propeller aeroplane, the first...

Read More.....
Redman's Rhythmic Reveries Live The Dream At Manchester Jazz Fest

Redman's Rhythmic Reveries Live The Drea…

Joshua Redman (top), looking super svelte in suit and dicky...

Read More.....
Anoushka Shankar, Hiromi and Shabaka and the Ancestors get Jazz à Juan jumping

Anoushka Shankar, Hiromi and Shabaka and…

After the terrible events on the Promenade des Anglais on...

Read More.....
Vote Now for 2017 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

Vote Now for 2017 Parliamentary Jazz Awa…

This year's Parliamentary Jazz Awards will take place on 10...

Read More.....
Wayne Shorter Goes Large At Gent Jazz Jamboree

Wayne Shorter Goes Large At Gent Jazz Ja…

As expected, the Gent Jazz Festival performs its characteristic trick...

Read More.....
Buck Clayton Legacy Band bounce with Billie at Pizza

Buck Clayton Legacy Band bounce with Bil…

There's said to be a minor resurgence in swing in...

Read More.....
Denys Baptiste ascends with The Late Trane at Jazz Cafe

Denys Baptiste ascends with The Late Tra…

While the venue's refit, which considerably extends the standing area...

Read More.....
#Jazz100: Manchester Jazz Festival weighs in with a ton of hope

#Jazz100: Manchester Jazz Festival weigh…

This year's Manchester Jazz Festival marks jazz's centenary with a...

Read More.....
Impressions of Montreux Jazz Festival 2017 Photo Diary

Impressions of Montreux Jazz Festival 20…

Montreux Jazz Festival has a special place among all jazz...

Read More.....
Donny McCaslin and Miles Mosley make for memorable Istanbul Jazz Festival

Donny McCaslin and Miles Mosley make for…

Tuesday night in Istanbul, and Korhan Futaci's lyrics are being...

Read More.....
Piano stars, Shorter, Cullum, Collier and more light up Umbria Jazz 2017

Piano stars, Shorter, Cullum, Collier an…

Umbria Jazz is one of the largest festivals in Italy...

Read More.....
Ollie Howell, Yazz Ahmed and Daniel Casimir for late nights at Elgar Room

Ollie Howell, Yazz Ahmed and Daniel Casi…

The autumn line-up of the Royal Albert Hall's Elgar Room...

Read More.....
Heavenly Dave Gold BBC session set for vinyl delight

Heavenly Dave Gold BBC session set for v…

A prime slice of 1970s jazz funk from the Dave...

Read More.....
Restored Vinyl Relations For Prime Parker Nugget

Restored Vinyl Relations For Prime Parke…

Those still savouring the sounds of Jeff Parker's The New...

Read More.....
Dave O’Higgins Zips to Zog – Video Exclusive

Dave O’Higgins Zips to Zog – Video Exclu…

Leading UK saxophonist Dave O'Higgins returns with a new quartet...

Read More.....
Notes Of A Native Song: Stew & The Negro Problem Probe James Baldwin's Legacy At Southbank's Underbelly Fest

Notes Of A Native Song: Stew & The N…

Raoul Peck's recent documentary I Am Not Your Negro served...

Read More.....
Stanley Clarke slaps and strums it up for UK tour

Stanley Clarke slaps and strums it up fo…

Iconic US bassist Stanley Clarke hits the road for a...

Read More.....
John McLaughlin biography turns up the volume with Kickstarter campaign

John McLaughlin biography turns up the v…

Colin Harper, author of Bathed In Lightning: John McLaughlin, the...

Read More.....
Ravi Coltrane, Danilo Pérez and Phronesis make for a memorable  Montreal Jazz Fest

Ravi Coltrane, Danilo Pérez and Phronesi…

Montreal Jazz Festival is a family affair, two thirds of...

Read More.....
Arve Henriksen and David Helbock make Mountains of sound at Südtirol Jazz Festival

Arve Henriksen and David Helbock make Mo…

The Südtirol Jazz Festival is unique among jazz festivals in...

Read More.....
Gnawa Power: Bill Laurance mixes it up with Moroccan maestros

Gnawa Power: Bill Laurance mixes it up w…

The mid 20th century saw several jazz A-listers working with...

Read More.....
Tommy Smith lights up for Trane tribute

Tommy Smith lights up for Trane tribute

Saxophonist Tommy Smith launches his new quartet at the upcoming...

Read More.....
Herbie Hancock, The Thing and Pine/Omar for EFG London Jazz Festival

Herbie Hancock, The Thing and Pine/Omar …

Iconic jazz keyboardist Herbie Hancock and rowdy Scandinavian trio The...

Read More.....
New beat-jazz generation gets biggest Love Supreme Jazz Festival moving

New beat-jazz generation gets biggest Lo…

"Clearly, this festival is all about love," Gregory Porter says...

Read More.....
Geri Allen – 12/06/57 - 26/06/2017

Geri Allen – 12/06/57 - 26/06/2017

The news that Geri Allen has died from cancer at...

Read More.....
Herbie Hancock to play two nights at EFG London Jazz Festival 2017

Herbie Hancock to play two nights at EFG…

Iconic jazz keyboardist Herbie Hancock has just been confirmed for...

Read More.....
Grooving in Glynde – Ciro Romano talks about five years of Love Supreme Jazz Festival

Grooving in Glynde – Ciro Romano talks a…

The Love Supreme jazz festival enters its fifth year as...

Read More.....
Oli Rockberger video exclusive ahead of album and live dates

Oli Rockberger video exclusive ahead of …

British soul-jazz singer/pianist Oli Rockberger is set to release his...

Read More.....
Brigitte Beraha and John Turville create live jazz score for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg screening

Brigitte Beraha and John Turville create…

An unmissable special screening of the 1964 French New Wave...

Read More.....
Campaign builds to rename Williamsburg Bridge in Sonny Rollins’ honour

Campaign builds to rename Williamsburg B…

It's been four years since Sonny Rollins, 86, last took...

Read More.....
Boogie at the Bandstand – the Love Supreme low-down

Boogie at the Bandstand – the Love Supre…

Ahead of the start next week of the fifth edition...

Read More.....

ABJazzWise


Qobuz-ad

 

Subcribe To Jazzwise

Advertisement

Call 0800 137201 to subscribe or click here to email the subscriptions team

Get in touch

Jazzwise Magazine,
St. Judes Church,
Dulwich Road, 
Herne Hill,
London, SE24 0PD.

0208 677 0012

Latest Tweets

Just finished this phenomenal book. Recommended strongly #ragtimepoetics @WavePoetry @KirkdaleBooks @MusicClerk… https://t.co/ewme8wc9UW
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
I broke me #toomanynotes @MusicClerk @dense_pr @Cafeoto @Freejazzblog @KirkdaleBooks @avantgardejazz @LondonJazz… https://t.co/I9jKgW0g40
Follow Us - @Jazzwise

Newsletter

Sign up to the Jazzwise monthly E-Newsletter

 

© 2016 MA Business & Leisure Ltd registered in England and Wales number 02923699 Registered office: Jesses Farm, Snow Hill, Dinton, Salisbury, SP3 5HN . Designed By SE24 MEDIA