Saturday, November 24, 2012

Barry Guy New Orchestra - finale at Manggha (Krakow Autumn Jazz; 23.11)

For three evenings at Alchemia, Barry Guy New Orchestra mixed the elements, ingredients of the band. Feel free to check the previous posts for the detailed line-up of each evening. Both sax trios that make the axis of the band (Evan-Barry-Paul and Mats-Barry-Raymond) could make another statement and develop their history but mostly the line-ups were surprising and unconventional. And so was the music -  exploratory and uncomprimsing.
The three evenings gave an insight into the infinite world of possibilites that exist in a big band, in coulour and texture of music. The music created in an instance, raw yet pure, born from the moment. Majestic or joyfull, energetic or soothing, hidden as well as right in front of your eyes/ears. To be perceived in all it's glory on the final set of those three days, when eleven musicians squeezed onto the stage and ripped and sew again the space with the music.
A series of spontaneously created parallel universes met all together at once yesterday evening at Manggha, given the support of the composed structure.
The Orchestra presented three pieces, each featuring a different main soloists (Maya Homburger, Trevor Watts, Augusti Fernandez). And the music rose in thousands of sounds and colours and shapes, rich and purely majestic. The compositions going light-years beyond any jazz idiom, probably where Gil Evans and Stan Kenton sometimes dreamt of going , concertos for orchestra and soloists. Music that has the immediate element of improvisation built-in, that strikes your heart, while it builds an entire reality of symphonic depth and richness, harmonies sharp or lush, that touch your mind.

And my mind is still striving to grasp it, without any real success. What I know is: those four days of music, in all its variety of aspects and manifestations - that's why we (I hope to speak those words not only for myself) love this music. This is music that unifies passion and vision and expression.

Barry Guy New Orchestra:
Barry Guy - double bass, conductor
Maya Homburger - baroque violin
Augusti Fernandez - piano
Evan Parker - tenor sax, soprano
Trevor Watts - alto sax
Mats Gustafsson - baritone sax, fluteophone
Hans Koch - bass clarinet
Herb Robertson - trumpet, pocket trumpet
Johannes Bauer - trombone
Per-Ake Holmlander - tuba
Paul Lytton - drums
Raymond Strid - drums

Krakow Autumn Jazz. Alchemia (20-22.11.2012) and Manggha (23.11.2012)


  1. Many thanks for your 4 reviews. I had fly back to England and missed the final night but I am still reeling from the 3 Alchemia performances. Your writing brings it all alive again. I wish I could hear the two outstanding trio performances (Parker/Guy/Lytton and Gustafsson/Guy/Strid) again. What was the highlight moment for you? Best wishes, David

  2. Thanks for reading David. The highlight moment was possibly the improvised orchestra finale at Alchemia, very different from the composed music that followed the day after. Also any apparition on stage by Mats (especially the final set of first evening with the double drums sections), also Maya's passionage violin-shredding of the first evening. But then again, there were so many that it would be difficult to point out what was less than brilliant than the other way around.
    Hope you'll be back in Krakow.


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