27 October 2008

Sound and fury

There were lots of chops, lots of watts, lots of dots, when Wayne Krantz came to town with Tal Wilkenfeld and Keith Carlock. It was one of those events organised through the music industry, so I expected capable playing without too much profundity.

There was certainly lots of energy. Keith Carlock was endlessly busy, with sticks rising above his head (great for the photographers) on a kit with the skins strangely angled down and away from him. I don’t remember him letting up for the full two hours. I only heard Wayne clearly when I moved to a seat on his side of the stage for the encore. He certainly played a unique style, and it was interesting. Unusual lines and constant effects. I hardly understood what Tal was playing although it wasn’t from lack of volume. I caught some quick and nifty lines, but I was not the only one who said they hadn’t been able to hear her. She played several solos. One was melodic, but some others were more playing with effects. I much prefer her playing on YouTube with Jeff Beck, where she does a tasteful and tuneful solo on Cause we ended as lovers. Tal often sat out for a time, leaving guitar/drums combinations, and similarly guitar sat out to leave some bass/drums segments, but the dynamics never changed. Not exactly true: there were a couple of spots where Wayne played solo to introduce a tune that were on just 5, but then it returned to a relentless 10 on the dial. Not quite 11. The audience seemed to be listening with their eyes, and strangely immobile. At one stage, I noticed a shaved head nodding, but that’s when I realised how static the rest of the crowd was.

So I was left uninvolved and I was actually glad when it was over. It all seemed so relentless and unmoving. Lots of energy but little purpose that I could identify. I asked around after, and there were several people whose playing I respect who were positive, but even they seemed to express it with little enthusiasm. Perhaps it’s just horses for courses. Feel free to add your comments. I’d actually like to hear why people liked it, if they did, but just don’t get cranky with me for finding it all signifying nothing.

Wayne Krantz (guitar) led a trio with Tal Wilkenfeld (bass) and Keith Carlock (drums).


Anonymous said...

I think the awful job done by the sound guy, and the seating layout was a big factor in the lack of enjoyment. They didn't need to mic up that kit in that room, in fact if they left the P.A. off the sound probably would have been better...
email your concerns about the sound (and volume) to: www.musictek.com.au the promoter should know about it!

Eric Pozza said...

Thanks for the comment. I'm sure you're right about the sound. Loud and overwhelming and unnecessary. Too bad. Eric