Sunday, March 22, 2009

Live: Buffalo Collision

My beloved and I saw these fellows in the Sugar Club. They are jazzers. The draw for us was that their line-up includes the New York saxophone sensation Tim Berne of Big Satan fame, but I gather the other fellows (members of the Bad Plus and a cellist associate of Berne) are big names in their own right. The full line-up, apart from Berne, was Ethan Iverson on piano, Hank Roberts on cello, and Dave King on drums. The music was maybe a bit less insane than the time we saw Big Satan, but it was definitely from the forward thinking end of jazz.

Dave King was probably the real star of this line-up, with his drumming being of such an astonishing quality that I found myself wishing for more drum solos. I found myself wondering what was different between him and the drummer with Jan Garbarek's group. The latter annoyed me greatly when I saw him a couple of year's ago, his solo-ing seeming like the showing-off of a musical peacock, bearing little relationship to the music his colleagues were making. King's solos, meanwhile, were very flash from the point of view of musical virtuosity, and King himself demanded attention with his total commitment to his instrument, but his work seemed more of a piece with that of the other Buffalo Collision players. Unlike Garbarek's drummer, King seems integrated with the rest of the band, even when playing on his own.

I bought a copy of Buffalo Collision's untitled album – from Tim Berne himself! I have listened to it enough to establish that it contains music of a forward thinking nature. Like the live band, it is maybe a bit less full-on than the likes of Bad Satan. I reckon that this music might even be enjoyable by people whose minds are only partially open to challenging new sounds of the most uncompromising sort. I wonder is this because of the influence of the Bad Plus on the sound of this band?

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