Reside Report: Electronic Beats Festival Bonn 2014

“To me jazz means: I dare you! ” David Shorter, arguably the world’s finest living composer and band head in jazz, whispered these words and phrases to me when I met him at his home in West The show biz industry earlier this year. The statement was a key moment in our conversation that can be examine in its entirety here and in the upcoming issue associated with Electronic Beats Magazine , but it wasn’t until yesterday night that I fully understood what Shorter actually meant when I listened Shorter great group consisting of Danilo Pérez (piano), Brian Blade (drums) and David Patitucci (bass).


In Germany’s previous capital Bonn, the Wayne Smaller Quartet took the stage associated with the Telekom Forum —a modern, useful venue with a 1, 800 capacity that usually hosts conventions and congresses, and the occasional concert thanks to its great acoustics—shortly after 8: thirty pm and immediately started sparring with the audience’s expectations.

From the very first notes it was apparent that the group has been playing collectively for a long time—some 13 yrs according to Shorter. After the show, Danilo Pérez described their musical communication as “a form of telepathy”—one that allowed the quartet to mutually anticipate each other’s next rhythmic moves, chord changes, improvisations and breaks.


This trust was especially apparent in the dynamic performance of the songs “Adventures Aboard the Fantastic Mean” and “Orbits”, both Smaller Quartet classics by now. Through relentless improvisation the group played both tunes in a markedly different fashion to both their recorded and their known live versions: “We aren’t thinking while we are playing, we have been listening to each other, ” Shorter described while signing records after the show. Wayne Shorter has been and still is definitely an über-influential figure not only in jazz music, but to artists of all genres, particularly electronic musicians. Lest we all forget: it was Shorter, together with Mls Davis who thrust jazz in to new electronic territory in 1969 and 1970 with the releases associated with In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew . Which brings me to the festival’s opening act, the Matthew Herbert Big Band.


Beginning shortly after 7 p. mirielle. in front of a packed audience, Matt Herbert, who is himself a big enthusiast of Wayne Shorter, played a solid one-hour set. The first half saw both Herbert’s and vocalist Alice Grant’s faces covered, veiled about what you might call a black hipster burka. In obvious contrast to conservative jazz big bands, Herbert used live sampling to redefine improvisation, by sampling, chopping and filtering a saxophone solo; or even, alternately, tearing a magazine in to pieces, recording the sound of the ripping paper and turning the noise into a rhythm to which his band adapts.

After each Grant and Herbert freed by themselves from their masks, the set moved into a more electric direction. Songs from Herbert’s signature album Bodily Functions gave the particular performance in the context of a jazz music festival a somehwat confrontational framework.


But , as Wayne Shorter said, nothing is more confrontational than a dare. Certainly, booking both the Wayne Shorter Quadrature and the Matthew Herbert Big Band for an Electronic Beats Festival dared audiences to step outside their comfort zone—which is the only way to perceive the outines of the form of jazz to come.

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