Monday, 19 January 2009

Mwamba/Kane/Blackmore - 12.01.09

Creative Partnerships Derby is an initiative in which musicians aim to substantively alter school environments to create ever more effective places of learning. Vibraphonist, Corey Mwamba operates as a prominent practitioner of this programme. Perhaps this partially explains how this trio project with bassist Dave Kane and drummer, Joshua Blackmore managed to engender such an impact.

This group prioritises the practise of in-performance listening to create a tangible sense of synergy despite the absence of a preordained structure. The music was entirely improvised, born from the thoughts and feelings of the players at that precise moment in time. Mwamba excelled in developing phrases inspired as much by bebop as by West African folk, as enchanting as any nursery rhyme and often imbued with atmospheric tonal layering. From within this complex web of melodic expression he isolated and developed the moments of tension inherent within the original phrase to thrilling effect. This introspective expressionism intensified under the strain of rhythmic reactions to Blackmore’s fills and accents. These were expressed in a variety of idioms; from brisk bop struts through neurotic and hyperactive avant-garde atmospherics, to subtle, erudite hints towards drum and bass. When bowed, Kane’s double bass delivered the emotional penetration of classical romanticism. His a cappella solo was evocative of Arild Andersen, combining powerful melodic expression with a resounding tone and inventive percussive textures.

Trumpeter, Alex Bonney featured briefly. His distinctive regal tone soared above a dense layering of free-form rhythm and melody with sparse incisive phrases before descending into a haunting wail woven with resentment and loss.

There was an undeniable sense of the sublime in this creation and experience. Though the music has not been named and the group has no recording the sensations visited on the audience will be carried for much time to come.

Corey Mwamba -

Dave Kane -

Joshua Blackmore -

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