We’re super proud of our programme here - we spend ages trying to ensure we get the right artists for the right spaces with the right audiences - so that audiences see incredible works of art and artists feel comfortable enough to take creative risks, make bold decisions and just maybe start new collaborations.
With around nine weeks till Lancaster Jazz Festival kicks off again I thought I’d shamelessly borrow an idea from Josh Grossman (Artistic Director at Toronto Jazz) and dedicate a blog on each artist we’ve programmed and go beyond their bio and press quotes. Out of the hundreds of artists that sent in submissions to the festival way back in January, why did we choose them? What’s so good about them? Why go listen to them?
The most popular colour for leather sofas.
Skronk seems to be the big word this year slowly seeping into many artist bios and onto Apple playlists (it was Nordic Piano Trio a couple of years ago). As ever with these catch-all terms I think it’s sorely overused - for me an example of skronk is the extreme end of Zorn - loud, uncompromising, free, experimental improv - it’s not a kind of punk-jazz, but maybe that’s just me. It does sound cool though.
Taupe do have elements of this but are more on a par with Roller Trio than the experimental improv scene. Like their publicity, their output seems to more thoughtful and introspective, yes loud guitars and disschord but also beautiful compositional moments, logical progressions but ones that still make a statement. I love their dynamic range - tunes diving from ballads into math rock in just a couple of beats. They manage to find, and walk the line between screaming alto sax (which I’m always a fan of) and big hooks that stay in your head for days. Their album has been on repeat in the office more than once recently.
We picked Taupe then for many reasons. They’re emerging as artists with a commitment and excitement to their original music that is more than evident in their playing - engagement really isn’t an issue when watching them live. They’re producing new music that’s completely fitting with one of the many ways jazz is evolving. Their sound, energy and manner will work great and hopefully even be inspiring in the context of a larger night of music, where some even younger musicians will be hanging out, watching and listening. And most importantly, we love it!
So if you’re a fan of Roller Trio, you like your guitars crunchy, you have some prog albums in your record collection, you like to see heaps of commitment and enthusiasm in your live music, you want to see and hear jazz definitely not being dead or dying as an art form, or just want to hear something super-interesting that is in no way happening on the local scene at the moment. Come see Taupe.
Free entry. Lancaster Brewery. Friday 18 September, 10pm.
More at www.taupetaupetaupe.com
Any comments, questions, this a good thing to be doing? Say things below and start the conversation… I’ll try and get two of these blogs up a week.
- Matt Robinson, festival director