Concert Review: Django Bates’ Beloved at the 2018 TD Ottawa Jazz Festival

Django Bates at the 2018 TD Ottawa Jazz Festival

Dan Nawrocki / Ottawa Jazz Festival

Django Bates’ Belovèd
2018 TD Ottawa Jazz Festival
First Baptist Church
June 25, 7 p.m.

If you thought you knew what a jazz piano trio gave the impression of, you’ll have needed to do a rethink after listening to the group led by Django Bates play Monday evening in Ottawa,

The 57-year-old British pianist introduced an entirely unique and even idiosyncratic tackle that time-honoured instrumentation. Whether Bates, Swedish bassist Petter Eldh and Danish drummer Peter Bruun had been enjoying the pianist’s grand, unfurling compositions or radical however persuasive revisions of tunes related to bebop nice Charlie Parker, they entranced the listeners that packed First Baptist Church with music that was virtually kaleidoscopic in its shifting rhythms and harmonies.

Listeners who got here to the live performance conversant in the materials related to Parker most likely had a clearer perception into the workings of Bates’s fervent creativeness. Bates recast the easily brisk swinger Donna Lee right into a rugged, chord-heavy tune that lurched throughout an uneven rhythmic panorama. Parker’s piece Now’s The Time, which was the band’s encore, was decoupled from its blues kind. A run by way of My Little Suede Shoes alluded to the supply tune’s Latin groove solely to mutate significantly. Most vivid was a sluggish and lavish remodeling of Star Eyes that made a rhapsody of its most important theme after which careworn the mysterioso high quality of the Parker model’s introduction, which the trio vamped on to finish the piece.

But even when Bates’s compositions, most of which had been drawn from his trio’s final album, The Study of Touch, had been unknowns for some in the church, they drew listeners in with their hodgepodges of musical virtues.

Sadness All The Way Down was a delicate and comparatively contained opener to Bates’s live performance earlier than it segued into the springier Giorgiantics. The Study of Touch advanced from spacious to churning, with Bates’s unfettered however left-of-centre lyricism bringing to thoughts a extra playful and quirky Keith Jarrett.

Slippage Street and We Are Not Lost, We Are Simply Finding Our Way had been sprawling indulgences and Little Petherwick stood out as a consequence of its pure, unabashed magnificence.

Throughout, Eldh and Bruun addressed the problem of how you can accompany a pianist as singular as Bates. Eldh rose to the uniqueness of the materials, executing beguiling melodies in unison with Bates at occasions and oscillating between offering basis and commentary. Bruun’s enjoying was spare however vibrant, in sync with all of the asymmetries that Bates had constructed into his music.

Although Bates has been hailed for greater than half of his life as an excellent, maverick musician, his live performance in Ottawa was his Canadian debut as a frontrunner and his final present in North America earlier than returning to Europe. Let’s hope that he’s in a position to return quickly to this aspect of the pond.

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