(Rose Theatre, Kingston, part of the London Jazz Festival, November 13th 2010, Review by Patrick Hadfield, photo above: Roger Thomas) The bands in this interesting double-bill had unifying features. Both used extensive and varied percussion, and both brought a flavour of the Orient to the Rose Theatre in Kingston.
The Hadouk Trio play music with north African accents, but with a real jazz feel –
Didier Malherbe quoted “’Round Midnight” and (I think!) “St James Infirmary” in his solos. Malherbe played soprano sax, flute and other woodwind, whilst Loy Ehrlich played a hajouj, a large stringed instrument similar to a bass as well as keyboards. Whilst Malherbe was centre stage, much of the focus was on imaginative percussion of Steve Shenan.
He played his many drums and cymbals with his hands and with large brushes; for one tune, he brought out a large, round metallic wok-like “hang” from which he produced some beautiful bell-like tones.
Andy Sheppard ’s Movements in Colour band featured eastern percussion, with Kuljit Bhamra providing lively tabla playing. Sheppard played tenor and soprano saxes, with Arild Andersen creating lovely, melodic basslines. They were joined by two guitarists, James Forster on electric and acoustic guitars and Eivind Aarset on electric guitar and electronic treatments. They mostly played music from Sheppard’s “Movements in Colour” CD (on which all but Forster appear), each tune based on a different painting or artist.
Despite Bhamra’s contribution, this was a very European sound, free of the influence of the blues. It was a happy, upbeat sound. Forster’s solos wouldn’t have been out of place in a late-seventies Pink Floyd gig, simple and fitting. Andersen’s lovely bass playing brought a folk-feel to some tunes. Aarset barely moved behind his stack of effects pedals and his guitar, but has a central role in creating the sonority on the CD and in the live band.
There’s no pleasing everyone – some people left early, loudly complaining; they can’t have read the LJF programme, which stated pretty clearly what to expect. Sheppard and friends made some lovely music.