Darius Jones & Matthew Shipp in concert

I saw a double bill performance as part of the Guelph Jazz Festival. I didn’t choose this concert myself, and I will pay more attention to what I’m going to in the future — it turns out there are concerts I’d rather I didn’t attend.

The first act was a group called Brew, consisting of Miya Masaoka, Reggie Workman, and Gerry Hemingway. Workman played bass, Hemingway played drums, and Masaoka played the koto — a Japanese string instrument.

The second act was Darius Jones and Matthew Shipp. Jones played alto saxophone and Shipp played piano.

In both cases, my feeling was the same. There were bits that were OK, but on the whole it just didn’t do it for me. And there were even times when it was extremely unpleasant — I don’t understand how anyone could like it when Masaoka plays the koto like nails on a blackboard or when Jones screeches on his saxophone.

Often one of the musicians would be doing something interesting but the other(s) would be doing something that just didn’t go with it.

The musicians are all obviously talented. And it’s certainly fine if people like what they’re doing. Some people in the audience clearly did — there were some standing ovations for both acts (more for the second). On the other hand, there were a few people who walked out in the middle of the concert. The type of music they were playing — perhaps it could be called avant garde jazz — just wasn’t my thing.

Could I learn to appreciate this type of music? I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

There is a lot of free jazz at the festival — apparently the free stuff is likely to be more traditional jazz. I might check out that aspect of the festival next time.

This entry was posted on Saturday, September 8th, 2012 at 7:45 pm and is filed under Reviews of music. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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