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24-25 November. jazzwerkstatt festival. Julie Sassoon, Peter Ehwald, Alan Skidmore and more celebrate this iconic label.
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Medusa Beats + The Enemy

Medusa Beats is a new trio of French pianist Benoit Delbecq, Berlin resident Petter Eldh and in-demand German drummer Jonas Burgwinkel.

Martin Longley in the moers festival blog writes:

Medusa Beats are not so much linear as cycling in nature, suspended, multi-layered and predatory, springing out of a largely improvised flux, generated by three playing partners who have only recently started working together. This is a as fresh as a unit can be….

It’s a collective approach, with each trio member bringing material to the band, but with Cologne drummer Jonas Burgwinkel allotting himself the role as chief organiser and strategist. He’s joined by pianist Benoit Delbecq (from Paris) and Petter Eldh (a Swede, dwelling in Berlin). There’s an immediate link apparent between Delbecq and Burgwinkel, as the pianist prepares his instrument’s innards with selected devices, as well as triggering percussive sounds electronically, whilst the drummer favours using his own form of prepared kit, scattering small objects around his skins. It’s a dialogue that travels between drums and piano, piling up sounds that sometimes resist being pocketed in one corner. For much of the time, the music is in restless motion, a dense, swirling, hovering nest of activity.

The Enemy

Kit Downes (piano), Petter Eldh (bass) and James Maddren (drums) are ‘The Enemy’. Based in London and Berlin, they play for the appreciation of expression through complexity – light-speed rhythmic patterns and dense harmonic clusters collide in a unique and formidable combination of voices that has been described as both “rip-roaring” and “mind-boggling”.

The members of the band have all received their own critical acclaim (including a Mercury Music Award Nomination and BBC Jazz Award) as well as having toured the world with some of the finest musicians (Django Bates, Marc Copeland, Thomas Strønen, Marius Neset), but here they shine collectively, as like-minded experimentalists and improvisers.”

“Rip-roaring groove, mind-boggling polyrhythmic drumming, snapping physicality and sweeping piano runs from brittle street grooves”

– John Fordham, The Guardian 2015

 

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