That alone is good news: another Dachauer Jazz eV concert has taken place. The first concert from autumn 2020 – as an interruption to the “sleeping beauty”, as the program coordinator Axel Blanz says, because you have to wait for the next concert in December next year. Meanwhile, the Kulturschranne ensemble seems to have slipped a bit out of practice when it comes to the interaction of the musically freely improvised international high culture with the Bavarian culinary noise. In some parts of the pianissimo, some crackling wine corks and the clatter of bottles are louder than the soft singing to the subtle synthesizer pad from the stage. Of course, a tightrope walker, because you have to serve another glass of red wine, and the jazz club is not a place of devotion, even if the music is stylistically encouraging.
FROM Ben LaMar gay band the guest is a jazz quartet with a very sensitive sound development. How did this commitment come about? The team asked itself, says Blanz. Apparently, the glamor of the famous Dachau jazz club did not diminish during the Corona period. It is followed by an almost two-hour concert of incredible intensity, emotionality and creativity. How to describe this music, a music that features almost everything you can imagine in terms of sound production?
At the concert there is an atmosphere like in a sound laboratory
Some interesting facts: All four members perform seated, with Ben Lamar Gay leading the way as the vocalist and mostly using a synthesizer. The atmosphere at these moments resembles a sound laboratory, a studio of new, experimental music. The bass foundation for electronic soundscapes, however, is not synthetic, it is derived from the enormous, glistening golden ringing of Matt Davis’ sousaphone, a typical marching band instrument. In this way, despite the electronics, you think about the streets of New Orleans, about the old jazz.
Gay sings repeating lyrics in a sleepy way. It sounds intimate. It’s a wonderfully melodic yet rhythmic component thanks to its repetition element – and gives the music an almost spiritual effect even when Gay starts playing a powerful forte. Gay then puts the cornet to his lips, and from then on he and his band speak for a few minutes in a language that anyone who enters the room at that point will immediately understand as jazz.
It is fascinating how naturally large-format soundboards fit together. Davis just blew on a loud foundation on the sousaphone, more low-end wobble than bassline; Drummer Tommaso Moretti and guitarist Will Faber created a soundscape that moved incredibly fast, but with no real rhythm or pulse. And suddenly everyone, along with Gay and initiated by him by the sign, is perfectly coordinated and united in a rhythmically clearly defined riff.
The evening ends with a sung Alleluia chorale
During the break you get the impression that you have learned the entire expression spectrum of this quartet. What else should be possible that has not yet been shown? With the beginning of the second set, however, the musicians reach for wooden flutes, and the history of music – this is how it works as opposed to a digital synthesizer – goes back a long way with a beautiful, morbid entanglement of elementary melodic lines that are delicately over-stretched in intonation.
When Gay returns to the cornet, he slips the third of his various faders into the funnel (yes, the colors are so subtly graded here!). Others also return to their regular instruments. The crescendo begins, which rises to a forte – and Gay strides through the audience, screeching and ejecting eruptive impulses, opening the whole room as a sound space.
This clearly shows that no matter how varied the compositions are, every moment is an event. Soon after, the music suddenly consists of all four musicians standing upright and swaying gently tapped bells in front of the microphones, united in harmonious, spherical beats. But clearly, you should never believe that this band’s creative lust will ever run out. Since you can not only let the bells struck silence, you can also stop their sound by pressing them against your upper body. And while it looks bizarrely choreographically like the four of them – each with two bells – do it in the long passage with lofty gestures, it’s much more than a gag. If you close your eyes it’s just a great rhythmic sound effect – pretty crazy and pretty amazing. A hypnotic evening full of sounds, color and clarity, which ends with the sung Alleluia chorale.