South Bank Meltdown- Update/ What’s sold out

The Ornette Coleman Meltdown festival programme (June 12th – 20th)-not only the main gigs in the RFH and QEH but also the free events, films…has been emerging bit by bit, and for a few weeks. Check out the full programme here

Mike Hobart’s FT interview with Glenn Max of the South Bank today is v informative on the background.

I thought it would be sensible, before refreshing the Recommended Gigs list, to check what had sold out. The South Bank tell me today that four gigs: Patti Smith, Yo lo tengo, Moby and -among the jazz gigs- the 19th Ornette gig with Bill Frisell are full.

I then looked at something a bit more obscure to see how it is selling: Mark Ribot, Evan Parker and Han Bennink- the front section is mostly gone. Conclusion: it looks like the whole festival -which the South Bank top brass saw as risky, moving away from a known rock star – is indeed popular…

David Smyth of the Evening Standard describes this phenomenon HERE. Although when he refers to jazz fans as “turtle-necked chin-scratchers,” there can presumably only be, roughly,one person he has in mind.

My choices, a sprinkling of free and paid for gigs from a BIG programme which needs looking at are:

Saturday 13th , 10.30pm, Clore Ballroom (free)

David Murray leading a jam session

Sunday 14th : 5.30pm in the clore Ballroom (free)

Acoustic Ladyland . Pete Wareham and Seb Rochford’s group has been evolving…now EIGHT years since they started being angry!

Friday 19th 1pm Clore Ballroom, free

Trinity College: Martin Speake (saxophone) , Chris Batchelor (trumpet), Gene Calderazzo (drums) and Calum Gourlay (bass) will be exploring Ornette Coleman. Contemporary classical singer Linda Hirst will do free improv with pianist Douglas Finch, before all six improvise together.

Friday 19 June, Royal Festival Hall, 7.30pm, (Sold Out, returns only) Ornette Coleman and Bill Frisell. reflections on The Shape of Jazz to Come (1959 ) Guitarist Bill Frisell was superb at Cheltenham in ’08 and I hope to catch him again.

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Saturday 20th : Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra/ Carla Bley/ Robert Wyatt/The Bad Plus Bassist

Charlie Haden is a giant. I last heard the Bad Plus’ really innovative take on the jazz piano trio about five years ago, and the progress of this band will be fascinating to catch up with.

Sunday 21st: The final , celebratory closing gig with Ornette

South Bank Blurb:
“Charlie Haden (bassist in the original Ornette Coleman Quartet) and Ornette Coleman are reunited onstage for the first time in nearly 10 years for a historic closing night performance of Reflections of This is Our Music – the seminal album they recorded together 50 years ago. They will be joined by Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Flea and Bachir Attar and The Master Musicians of Jajouka.”

Categories: miscellaneous

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