Squaring up to the future... Gillett Square in Dalston, home to the Vortex, awaits refurbishment of the existing workspaces and addition of 500m2 extra workspace in a “mezzanine extension” on the Bradbury Street side. The architects say: “Our proposal aims to maximize the potential of the existing building, while creating new spaces and further animating the square within which it lies.”
The individuality and human scale of Bradbury Street will by the overbearing look of the mock-up completely disappear. Will everyone be as thrilled as Hackney Cooperative Developments (who the Vortex rents off) were when Hackney Council’s planning committee approved the plans? “A win for Dalston” they claim in a spirit of optimism despite a lot of local opposition over the last few months. Hearts and minds more like it will take longer to win over. SG
Later this year It will be 10 years exactly since Freddie Hubbard died. The trumpeter passed away in California on 29 December 2008, at the age of 70.
There will be a lot of tributes in a number of ways of course celebrating his legacy in words at least and most probably a continuity whether conscious or not out there on bandstands the world over of his music: that tone, that dazzling facility at speed, that spirit even on a pop song which he then made his own as a jazz instrumental, remember his version of ‘Fragile’?
More so, what about his compositions, ‘Red Clay’ chief among them? Quite. Beyond categorisation, just historic and bandstand bound.
David Weiss and The Cookers are the keepers of the flame as an aggregation, a constellation of elders and masters.
While Hubbard is seen quite rightly as a hard bop hero — currently holder of that position, the heavyweight Hubbardian Jeremy Pelt — Hubbard was on some avant classics as well, lest we are too selective: he was on John Coltrane’s late period masterpiece Ascension, and he was on Eric Dolphy’s Out To Lunch to name but two of these. So, without further ado let’s listen to the avant side of Hubbard and explore more.
Hone in perhaps most on the Free Jazz clip from 5 mins and 40 seconds, actually listen to it all if you have time. After all what we loosely call very generally “free jazz” began at least in a literal sense synonymously Ornette if not historically as Free Jazz. SG
A case somehow of believe, redress, bestow: It is a 28 September release on Brum label Stoney Lane, listen to ‘It Begins’ from What We’re Made Of by Sara Colman.
The Bristol-born singer, who was heard to considerable effect next to Liane Carroll and Emilia Mårtensson recently at the opening Hawk’s Well theatre concert of the Sligo Jazz Festival, in delivering her own distinctive blues of the night.
Not since Polly Gibbons perhaps, comparable in terms of power although her natural register is closer to the Porters presiding singer-in-residence Carroll (surely an inspiration on Colman), has such an impressive mainstream jazz singer looking to the future, and not only but also the past, emerged.
Just think of what Marc Ribot did to guide us towards a new understanding and redrawing of the music of Albert Ayler.
Well, it looks as if Miles Okazaki, playing solo in a vast organic guitar project which has just dropped online, may well have done the same within his own prism of protean ideas and individualism. We will all now know the work of Thelonious Monk as if embarking to hear his compositions for the first time. Jaw-dropping.