22 March 2024



Sean gave me a rundown on the workshop that afternoon by Number Junky on jazz rhythms and odd meters.  It fitted perfectly with the band's title, Number Junky, and even with some of the patter on stage.  Kristian spoke of odd times and we shared counts at one stage: what I'd heard as 6-5 he thought of as 11, but it's all the same.  Some of the counts were much more complex or varied or less clear due to improvisational divisions within bars and that difficult odd count at speed, where you think 12 or 14 but realise it's 13.  Thus was the concert, although there were some fours and even some walks; just not many.  Another thing I noticed was volume.  NJ were very restrained in volume, but they were immensely intense, sharp, correct, inventive, changing, blistering at times with speed but but strangely more in melodies than in solos.  Kristian could be fast and always crystal clear although often enough with reverb/echo effects and rich in his chordal choices.  Peter was intriguing on LH kit, again not excessively fast but sharp and spot on and just wonderfully inviting.  Of course I will follow bassist Zac, beautifully toned, using a mixed pickup (Full Circle?) and external mic on Jeremy's borrowed bass, richly changing, blistering in unison melodies with Kristian, accompanying with fascinating improvised lines of long intervals both up and across the neck and repeated fast notes and just an occasional really quick line up the G-string.  He told me of his history: we share the Evolving Bassist with many others and classical orchestras, and he's essentially Simandl.  I admired the nicely functional relaxation in his hands but excuse this bass banter.  I bought a CD.  I noticed it was mixed and mastered in NYC.  That's often the way now.  He mentioned playing/recording with Fabian Almazan and Will Vinson and again that internationalism is a thing these days.  This music entranced, was insistent at low volumes, bouncy with accompaniments and solos, intellectually challenging with odd and varying counts, ecstatic with mad unison melodies.  Just great stuff.

Number Junky performed at Smiths.  NJ are Kristian Borring (guitar), Zac Grafton (bass) and Peter Evans (drums).

This is CJBlog post no. 2,800.

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