Monday, April 23, 2007

Trevor Watts/Jamie Harris - 22/04/2007@L'Archiduc, Bruxelles

Trevor Watts - as, ss, perc
Jamie Harris - perc

Trevor Watts and Jamie Harris engaged in duo playing that seemed to tap into the oldest musical approaches: voice and percussion. Harris kept up steady, engrossing polyrhythms that weren't particularly interactive, but varied subtly. Watts, his tone the very epitome of the alto's ability to be both hard-blowing and sickly sweet at once, used minimal harmonic bases - generally little more than a single scale - to emphasise untroubled melodic improvisation.

The overall approach was something of a double-edged sword: while the regular, complex and dancing rhythms and the harmonically-limited melodies made the music user-friendly and festive, it also made monotony a very real danger, one sometimes all too present. At one point, Watts broke into a short bout of circular breathing that edged towards Evan Parker territory, which emphasised how narrowly he was otherwise constraining his playing. Also, I would rather have heard this music outside in a park and taken advantage of the sunny (French election) day, rather than inside the somber Archiduc. I'll let pictures taken in Brussels on the same day handle the rest of the review: