Skip to main content

Steve Reid Ensemble

Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh - Wed 19 March 2008
4 stars

Veteran drummer Steve Reid’s ongoing collaboration with folktronicist Kieran Hebden, aka Fourtet, put Reid squarely back in the front-line with three appealingly meandering sets of 21st century fusion. This has given Reid’s own ensemble a higher profile, and a chance with last year’s Daxaar album, recorded in Senegal, to get back into the groove on a much wider platform. Only Reid, Hebden and Russian keyboardist and Daxaar’s musical director Boris Netsvetaev survive the album in this thrilling show, which exposes an even fresher line-up that’s not just pan-global, but pan-generational too.

Reid’s introduction references Vietnam and Iraq before he launches into the album’s title track, its crisp, organ dominated Afro-Beat here veering off on all sorts of tangents the album version barely touches. This sets the tone for a set of glorious reinventions, with Joe Rigby’s lead saxes and flute more than making up for the absence of Roger Ongolo’s trumpet flourishes and Jimmy Mbaye’s guitar. Also central is Senegales percussionist Mamadou Sarr, whose sparring with Reid adds euphoric bounce. Dominic Lash’s bass similarly colours a rhythm dominated affair that never gets too wiggy for its own good. Hebden takes a back seat, lobbing in an array of tastefully nuanced squiggles which underscore things rather than dominate. His contribution demonstrates how the now ubiquitous laptop can be incorporated as one more piece of kit rather than just add novelty value.

Reid himself cuts a beatific dash, merrily mixing up elements of 1970s jazz-funk with what used to be called World music. The end result of all this is an infectious and irresistible musical stew, delivered with fresh panache, at the heart of which is pure joy.

The Herald - Fri 21 March 2008

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Peter Brook – The Prisoner

Peter Brook is no stranger to Scotland, ever since the guru of European and world theatre first brought his nine-hour epic, The Mahabharata, to Glasgow in 1988. That was at the city’s old transport museum, which by 1990 had become Tramway, the still-functioning permanent venue that opened up Glasgow and Scotland as a major channel for international theatre in a way that had previously only been on offer at Edinburgh International Festival.
Brook and his Paris-based Theatre des Bouffes du Nord company’s relationship with Tramway saw him bring his productions of La Tragedie de Carmen, La Tempete, Pellease et Mellisande, The Man Who…, and Oh Les Beaux Jours – the French version of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days – to Glasgow.
Thirty years on from The Mahabharata, Brook comes to EIF with another piece of pan-global theatre as part of a residency by Theatre des Bouffes du Nord, which Brook has led since he decamped to Paris from London in the early 1970s. The current Edinburgh residency has alr…

Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare's Globe Comes to Glasgow

Open-air Shakepeares are a summer-time perennial of the theatre calendar, attracting picnicking audiences as much as midges. More often than not, such romps through the grass are frothy, heritage industry affairs designed to be accompanied by strawberries and cream and not to be taken too seriously. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre company look set to change such perceptions when they open their outdoor tour of Romeo And Juliet in Glasgow next week as part of the West End festival.

For the two young actors taking the title roles of the doomed lovers, it will also be something of a homecoming. Richard Madden and Ellie Piercy both studied in Glasgow prior to turning professional. Indeed, Madden has yet to graduate from the acting course at RSAMD, and, as well as facing the pressures of playing such a meaty role in close proximity to the audience, will have the added anxiety of being assessed and graded by his tutors.

“This is the end of my third year,” says Madden following a Saturday mornin…

Suzy Glass – Message from the Skies

Freedom of movement matters to Suzy Glass, the arts and events producer currently overseeing the second edition of Message from the Skies.This animated literary derive around the city forms part of this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme, and runs right through till Burns’ Night. Glass’ concerns are inherent in the event itself, which has commissioned six writers from different disciplines and experiences to each pen a love letter to Europe. Each writer has then paired up with a composer and visual artist or film-maker, with the results of each collaboration projected in monumental fashion on the walls of one of half a dozen of the capital’s most iconic buildings.
With venues stretching from the south side of Edinburgh to Leith, and with one city centre stop requiring a walk up Calton Hill, there is considerable legwork required to complete the circuit. It shouldn’t be considered a race, however, and audiences are free to move between venues at their leisure, visiting each site on d…