21 January 2019

Inside Smiths and our heads


It was hot outside, or at least the Smiths Sunday arvo jam session was on. Anthony was playing a solo right up the neck. I was impressed. But I was there for something far more esoteric: Petr Vrba, Czech trumpeter over for SoundOut. So expect much less rhythm and groove and harmony and melody, perhaps some melody and long notes and squeaks and squeals and, in his case, electronics and ring modulation. Nothing prepared other than a head and ears. This is performance from sheer awareness and some technical preparation although not necessarily of the traditional sort. Petr played a first set and it was loud enough that it was above the level of Anthony and co outside. Then our locals, EMSC Trio, comprising Richard, Millie and Rhys. Then a combination with Petr and EMSC and Miro, our local friend but also a Czech trumpeter. He picked up a nifty, red and black, plastic trombone from the wall at Smiths and took part in the last number. At various times, the jazz was intrusive, but often it was lost in louder sound. I liked the more forceful, louder take by EMSC which seemed to grow the energy. They played well. Petr was outstanding alone and strong with the others. Miro was relatively quiet, but that set also worked. I closed my eyes a few times and was taken by sounds and noises. There's an honesty here and although it's just a matter of listening, it's also a matter of discarding. I tried a jam at SoundOut once and I couldn't break my habits. Whatever, this was one of the most accessible of these experimental and free concerts and I enjoyed it. Too bad I missed the jam though.

Petr Vrba (trumpet, electronics) performed solo then later with EMSC Trio, comprising Richard Johnson (soprano sax), Millie Watson (pedal organ) and Rhys Butler (alto sax), and Miro Bukovsky (trombone).

  • SoundOut Festival 2019
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