louis moholo’s 4blokes, live at straight no chaser, cape town (15 january 2016)

It’s weird how the recording industry warps experience. We can sometimes forget that every recording is only one iteration that was captured and set in stone as “The” Definitive Performance, when really it just happened to be captured that particular time among many, many other possible times. Records, like photos, pluck moments out of time and concretise them… And they are the only thing we’re left with later to glimpse a whole era. That’s why densely detailed archives such as Ian Bruce Huntley‘s, where there were many recordings of the same bands made during the same era, are so interesting. I’ve posted here, and in the preceding post, recordings of the same band on two consecutive nights.

One of the lovely things about everyone having a camera in their pocket on their phone is that this is not something that is rare anymore, and the democratisation of shared experience is a very powerful and positive thing. One of the horrible things is that there is just such a volume of recorded stuff (much of questionable quality) being generated that the brightest nuggets of wonder can be drowned in the dross… Too much recording and we have a shaky, pixelated backup of every moment kept on hard drives, that no one ever has time to live through twice, to the extent that everything melts into undifferentiated, indigestible “big data” and can only be apprehended as statistics. I feel very ambivalent about it.

I think it’s really important that, whenever possible, we still have experienced photographers, videographers and sound recorders assigned to do this stuff, so that in years to come what we are left with are some beautiful and considered recordings, and not just a haunted avalanche of muddy glimpses.

louis moholo’s 4blokes – ghosts/you ain’t gonna know me ‘cos you think you know me (16 january 2016)

An incredible gig at Straight No Chaser, Cape Town, South Africa, 16 January 2016.

This moves into two songs: first ‘Ghosts’ by Albert Ayler at 7:00 and then ‘You ain’t gonna know me ‘cos you think you know me’ by Louis Moholo at 14:00. The 4blokes are:

Louis Moholo: Drums
Shabaka Hutchings: Tenor Saxophone
Kyle Shepherd: Piano
Brydon Bolton: Double Bass

sons of kemet – beware/inner babylon

Hailing from the shadowy world of the London post-jazz scene, the incandescent Sons of Kemet are saxist/clarinetist Shabaka Hutchings, tuba virtuoso Oren Marshall, and the stunning double-drums team of Tom Skinner and Seb Rochford, powering a mix of dancefloor hooks and New Orleans street music with the percussive intricacy of west African drum music, a dose of Caribbean dub, and free jazz.