Monday, May 5, 2008

Cindy Blackman

I won't make this a long blog. I have very little to say about the music that's positive and you know what people say - if you can't say anything nice, register a blog and start typing !!

Cindy arrived with hype - and alot of that hype comes to us from the drum community, I'd guess. As a drummer with rock roots, she has a style that seemed to me to speak a different dialect than I am used to hearing. Drum solos are one of my favourite things in improvised music, and the reason for this is unclear to me. However, tonight, I heard lots of drum solos so you'd think I'd be happy. Turns out I'm fussier than that. I like an ensemble to allow space for all its musicians to express themselves and this group seemed instead to be a vehicle for the relentless expression of an impressive looking drum kit.
Cindy Blackman is a very powerful and fast player. Her hands blur and she really hits those bits of skin. But I couldn't seem to engage. Not my cup of tea. Just a personal opinion. I wanted to send her a little note back stage... begging her to find the still, reflective place inside that contains the key to slowing down the leg twitches and building space around the sounds. What a silly suggestion!! She doesn't have to be like Simon Barker or Jarle Vespestad. But eh, what would I know. I imagine if I were a drummer I'd be mightily impressed. And there is room for all styles at this festival!

Albert says goodbye and Michael says... nothing... though his mouth opens and closes momentarily.

Albert Dadon appeared on stage before the Cindy Blackman concert to perform what appeared to be a handover to Michael Tortoni. Welcomed Michael on stage, put his arm around him, in a friendly sort of a way. "I'd like to introduce Michael Tortoni, the Artistic Director of the next Melbourne Jazz festival. And what better way to end the festival, than with the wonderful Cindy Blackman!" [this last bit in an announcy sort of a voice]

The band starts to walk on stage, Albert starts to walk off. Michael, mouth opening and then closing, not sure if he's supposed to say something, finally decides he isn't and wanders off as well.

Thought you'd find that interesting.

No comments: