Turning Coltrane into 70s Jamaican Roots.
Since the very beginning of jazz and indeed music, musicians have taken songs/tunes and done them in a different style. Whether this be standards but done in a latin feel or pop tunes of the day re-imagined in a completely different light. A lot of the time this works a treat and sounds fantastic, other times not so much (there's only so many bossa nova versions of Autumn Leaves one can stomach in a lifetime). To make tunes cross genres successfully it takes; great and careful choice of material, a care for the original, deep knowledge of style and feel, brilliant musicianship. It is all these qualities that A Dread Supreme have, and it’s done with such passion for both genres that it’s awesome to witness.
I love Coltrane.
The live version of A Love Supreme was one of the first albums I ever got and was the thing that got me into jazz - that tenor intro (after the promoters intro) still gives me goosebumps whenever I hear it. It seems almost sacrilegious to suggest that you should take these compositions and do them in dub reggae.
But it works.
Through a combination of Richard Ormrod’s stunning energy and ability and the awesomeness of the rest of the band (who have the feel nailed! - better than most “true” reggae bands) the music soars. I once saw Richard play with Toni Kofi at Manchester Jazz Festival and despite it being the hottest venue ever in the history of the world Richard was the most engaging player to watch and listen to on that stage. 1 - he never stopped moving, he was constantly playing or doing something to add to the music. And he managed this in a way that didn’t disrupt the flow or solos or throw out textures, always just enhanced without it becoming domineering (like a horn player suddenly playing a cow bell in a function band for no reason other than boredom) and 2 - his solos were inspired.
We picked A Dread Supreme then simply because they're awesome and perfect for the Brewery Stage (Think of the ideal band for that space and that time and you end up with something that almost perfectly is Dread Supreme).
So if you’re a fan of Coltrane, Reggae/Ska, no-nonsense-high-energy solos and/or Hammond organs. Come see A Dread Supreme. They also do originals.
Free entry. Lancaster Brewery. Friday 18 September, 9pm.
More at www.dreadsupreme.com
Richard Ormrod will also be running our Youth Jazz Workshop at 5.30pm on Friday 18 September. Jamaican Roots Big Band.
- Matt Robinson, festival director