AMN Reviews: Bashan – EP 1 (2017; Bandcamp)

Bashan is Gemma Thompson, guitarist of the post-punk band Savages. Known for her expressiveness in that context, she takes her skills in a new and different direction on this, her first solo release. Inspired by the imagery of American painter Morris Graves, the four tracks on this EP use guitars, field recordings, voice, harmonium, and percussion to interpret his art.

Thompson goes beyond merely playing her instrument in a conventional fashion. While the album includes subtlely-plucked arpeggiated chords, her main focus is on slow-moving, atmospheric effects and wind-swept drones. The harmonium and field recordings combine with the guitar parts to the point where it can be difficult to determine how much each is contributing to the overall sound. Thompson also makes heavy use of loops and processing to provide several layers of simple, but rich, overlapping themes. The final track is the only offering with voice, featuring inobtrusive spoken-word elements barely discernable over the music.

These pieces are forlorn and melancholy, but thoughtful and involved.  Thompson has created a compelling and detailed aesthetic and emotional statement. Hopefully, she will continue to explore this path.

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XYQuartet Tour in Italy

Via XYQuartet, a short tour of Italy.

Novembre / November 2017
XYQuartet on tour

Nicola Fazzini (alto sax)
Alessandro Fedrigo (acoustic bass guitar)
Saverio Tasca (vibes)
Luca Colussi (drums)

6th Novembre 2017, h 22.00
Ferrara Jazz Club
(Ferrara)

8th November 2017, h 21.00
Caffè Bugatti
(Terni)

9th November 2017, h 21.30
Pisa Jazz Circolo ExWide
a cura di Isola del Jazz (Pisa)

Coming to the Vortex Jazz Club

Tim Berne

Via London’s Vortex Jazz Club.

WED 08 NOVEMBER 2017
TIM BERNE’S SNAKEOIL + MARK TROUNSON GROUP FEATURING BILL MCHENRY
A stunning double bill with two of the dynamic saxophonists on the New York scene. Snakeoil Tim Berne is back with this great band! Tim Berne: alto saxophone Oscar Noriega:…
Time: 8 – 11PM

THU 09 NOVEMBER 2017
TIM BERNE’S SNAKEOIL + MARK TROUNSON GROUP FT. BILL MCHENRY – 2ND NIGHT
A stunning double bill with two of the dynamic saxophonists on the New York scene. Snakeoil Tim Berne is back with this great band! Tim Berne: alto saxophone Oscar Noriega:…
Time: 8 – 11PM

SUN 12 NOVEMBER 2017
EFG LONDON JAZZ FESTIVAL
MOPOMOSO PRESENTS…
‘THE WORKSHOP INVITES’ Formed in 2016 to mark the 25th anniversary of the first Mopomoso concerts the Mopomoso workshops have continued each week in London’s West End. Guests are invited…
Time: 2 – 5PM

MON 13 NOVEMBER 2017
EFG LONDON JAZZ FESTIVAL
DEVIN GRAY WITH CHRIS SPEED AND DREW GRESS + PHELAN BURGOYNE QUARTET (FT ANDERS CHRISTENSEN)
A top notch trio from New York, led by drummer Devin Gray. Also: the trio of drummer Phelan Burgoyne with Martin Speake (alto), Rob Luft (guitar) with special guest Anders…

THU 16 NOVEMBER 2017
EFG LONDON JAZZ FESTIVAL
ILLEGAL CROWNS (MARY HALVORSON, TAYLOR HO BYNUM, TOMAS FUJIWARA, BENOÎT DELBECQ))+ SAM LEAK TRIO
Illegal Crowns (Mary Halvorson, Taylor Ho Bynum, Tomas Fujiwara, Benoît Delbecq) brings together three of the most stunning New Yorkers with a stunning French pianist who is always a pleasure…