Monday, March 30, 2009

Darius Brubeck and Junior

Darius Brubeck is the son of Dave Brubeck, the famous American Jazz pianist, but has carved out his own career, living in South Africa for a few years and adsorbing musically from the music there, including locals like Abdul Ibrahim. Anyway, Jess is over from Australia, and arranged a meet up in the old PizzaExpress venue to see him.


In attendance.. Jess and her two sisters, Samantha and Liz, Niran, Nidhi and myself. Any hopes that Paolo would come so I'd have a chap to talk to were swiftly dashed!

Musically, they worked their way through a variety of styles and influences. I was slightly worried when mid-set they slipped into what I would describe as "elevator jazz", but they didn't remain there long, lifting the mood with catchy numbers, and Brubeck himself delighting in the Steinway piano, which for one tune he explained he would have a play with to see what he could produce, before letting the band join in later.

Mother and son

Niran apparently is not very keen on the sax, which was a shame as the first song was rather heavy on the wind (fine by me), so he enjoyed a snooze. The talented Paul Greenwood switched between a variety of woodwind instruments during the evening, and more discretely (quite literally, we couldn't really see either of them behind a pillar!) Matt Ridley and Wesley Gibbens supported on bass and drums.


The warm-up act beforehand (this seems to be the way they do things now) was a surprisingly good offering of ‘progressive medieval Spanish blues’ by Claude Bourbon.

Niran enjoys

All in all a marvellous show, and I'm glad I went. Pizza was good too, though I didn't realise at the time just how spicy it was.. After feeling rather warm all evening, later on it occurred to me that the whole thing was stuffed full of chopped chillis! Should blast this cold away, eh?!

Afterwards I insisted we waited around to get the obligatory photo:

Darius Brubeck with Jess and Niran

I'd recommend people check out Darius' new CD, Lydia and the Lion (though I decided I couldn't justify buying it.. see below!!)

Röyksopp - Junior

Happy Birthday Röyksopp

Hot on the heels of their tenth birthday (download their home-made birthday track here) as a band, the Norwegian electronic duo from Bergen have released their third album, Junior. I have a rule about not buying cds in the current economic climate, but there are exceptions, and this one arrived in the post this morning.

The album is available to listen to on their website, so there are no surprises, but playing through my lovely B&Ws, the whole disc is manna on my ears.. Torbjørn Brundtland and Svein Berge have created something beautiful yet again.. it's not Melody AM, it's not The Understanding, but in between, with a host of fantastic Scandanavian guest singers, catchy melodies, and warm pumping dance rhythms. The only track I don't particularly like (and there's one on each Royksopp album!) is True to Life, which is a bit over-percussioned for my tastes (each to their own of course).

Röyksopp's Junior

Factoid: Eple means Apple in Norwegian!

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