Its been a long while since I went to a gig at Glenn Miller Café.
If you havent been it is definitely worth a visit.
Always great music, great food and a wonderful atmosphere. One of the cool and fairly unique things about Glenn Miller Café is the mix of people.
There are the young Jazz dudes, 50- 65 year olds, couples....you name it. Very impressive. The atmosphere becomes so much better when there is a mixed audience.
The reason why we ended up at this gig is very simple. Leo Svensson who I know from the silent movie stuff was the cello player in the ensemble and as Leo is great most people he plays with are great....but there is an added bonus as well as the composer Mattias Risberg came by the studio a couple of years back to check out the Mellotron. Leo is an amazing musician and friend that always has a very generous and brave approach to his Musicianship.
He is also 50% of the Tiny who I think are easily one of the top three bands in Sweden if not the best. Check them out if you havent heard them.
The music of the night was really interesting and diverse spanning a lot of musical styles. Going from super arranged to very loose and improvised. I get the feeling that this is a fairly big projct for composer and pianist Mattias Risberg.
One of the bands definite strongpoints was the diversity in the instrumentation. The wind players switched constantly between saxophones, bassclarinet, clarinet and flute.
Violin and Cello, Acoustic piano and drums/percussion.
A lot of possibilities...
The interplay between Cello and Violin was truly spellbinding thruout the show...especially one improvised intro which was a slow dissonant glissando fest.
Not for the faint hearted or for autotune fans.
Really really cool.
As usual I have to talk about the drummer, Jon Fält. In Stockholm there seems to be a trend now to put small gongs and cymbals on the drumheads. Its really interesting and gives the drummer a much wider palette of sounds but I can see how the drummers some times spend more time chasing a cymbal that is about to slip off the drum head than hitting it. Its really impressive for those who have mastered the art but I would feel so uncomfortable doing it. Jon Fälts playing was dynamic, humorous and envigorating. As usual the drummer seemed to be the band member who was having the most fun during the show.
One minor criticism was the sound that was less than stellar. Not the "sound" sound but the balance....I would have loved to have had more Cello in the mix to give it all a more balanced structure. A audible bass so that it all can build more frequency wise. Now the bassiest thing on stage was the petite 18" bass drum which wasnt the Mamooth of bass I so covet and lust for.
I enjoyed the gig and the ensemble point of view but I couldnt help feeling that it could have been either louder or quieter in parts. It would be terribly interesting to hear a Fender Rhodes instead of the acoustic piano. I realize that this falls within the wide frames of Jazz but I could also see how interesting this ensemble would be with electronic elements.
Drummachines or maybe even someone playing turntables.
Dont get me wrong....it was really great but when there are so many cool musical ideas flying around its hard not to let your imagination run...
Also I might be getting old but I find fast soloing fairly tiresome in the long run. They are great players and all but I just dont get excited by it. The arranged parts that were more chordal and constructed were often far more interesting than the free form stuff. I can easily understand how the hardcore Jazz fans would feel the exact opposite.
The transitions were also very impressive.
Going from bananas to discipline is tricky but they really nailed it.
As usual all the photos were snapped by the generous Fredrik Eckardt as my phone is a piece of shit and some other piece of shit stole my camera.
Thanks for reading...!