[kj] Jaz in today's paper
gasw30 at hotmail.com
Tue Apr 27 09:28:16 EDT 2004
A photo of Jaz appears in today's Daily Telegraph alongside an article about
>>>Kings of crossover
Going through a classical phase in the early '90s, Elvis Costello fell in
love with the Brodsky Quartet, self-proclaimed mavericks who favour Issey
Miyake outfits over the stiffer black-tie garb with which we normally
associate classical musicians.
Determined to work with the Brodskys, Costello, a self-taught musician,
learnt how to read and write music. The result was The Juliet Letters, a set
of "chamber pop" songs inspired by the letters written by an eccentric
academic who had taken it upon himself to reply to those addressed to Juliet
- of Romeo and Juliet - and sent to Verona. The cycle met with considerable
success, it became Costello's highest-selling commercial record at the time.
In the most prestigious of pop/ classical crossovers, Paul McCartney was
invited in 1991 by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra to compose an
oratorio celebrating its 150th anniversary. Carl Davis conducted, soloists
included Kiri Te Kanawa, and it premiered at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral
to a five-minute standing ovation. Another self-taught musician, Macca had
to get Davis to help with the orchestration, and the result, Liverpool
Oratorio, a 90-minute meditation on the life of a Liverpudlian named Shanty,
was not to everyone's taste. Classical music pundits greeted it with
Steve Hackett turned to Evelyn Glennie, the world's only superstar
percussionist, to give him classical credibility for a composition they
performed together at 2002's percussion and drumming festival at the Royal
Festival Hall. The
City in the Sea was described by one reviewer as "improvised belligerence
and mournful doodling", and involved wailing sounds and an organ impression
coming from Hackett's guitar, while Glennie played various homemade
instruments, a drum kit and an air raid siren. His other classical offering
is the more melodic A Midsummer Night's Dream, a 1997 recording of
instrumental music in the English pastoral tradition. A coherent if
un-ambitious piece of writing, it yet suggests the gulf between pop and
classical is bridgeable.
Solo success has persistently eluded Tony Banks, sometime Genesis
keyboardist, and Seven looks unlikely to rock that boat. It was released in
February on Naxos, a label usually considered a model of good, classical
taste, and consists of seven suites, performed by the London Philharmonic.
Banks, like McCartney, discovered he did not actually know how to write for
an orchestra, so he had to get someone else to orchestrate, which lays his
work open to instant criticism from the purists and accounts for something
of its bland arrangement. Seven is at best serviceable film music.
Killing Joke lead singer Jaz Coleman is a workaholic polymath responsible
for a positive ecstasy of classical/pop hybrid called Riders on the Storm:
The Doors Concerto, an arrangement of Doors music for symphony orchestra
recorded in 2000 with violinist Nigel Kennedy performing (on his violin) as
the voice of Jim Morrison. Reasonably effective, it came as Coleman's solo
follow-up to a similar treatment he'd given songs by the Who and the Stones.
Despite one reviewer's describing Coleman as "our new Mahler", it is likely
that history will reflect on his frequent collaborations with Sarah
Brightman before recording such an effusive judgement on his classical
prowess in general, although there's hope yet for a man who bought his first
record, Russian Orchestral Masterpieces, at the age of six.
LOAD-DATE: April 27, 2004
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