Friday 29 November. 20:00 – 22:30.
At Crookes Social Club
Full £15, Over 60s, disabled and unemployed £12, Student with NUS card £8, 15 – 17 year olds £3, Under 15s Free. CASH ONLY on door.
Advance tickets available from www.ticketsource.co.uk/sheffield-jazz at the same net price as on the door.
Daniel Erdmann: sax; Theo Ceccaldi: viola &violin; Jim Hart: vibes
A true European jazz super-group which has been receiving increasingly enthusiastic reviews on its visits to the UK. Expect sublime, lyrical and melodic improvised music. Leading German tenor saxophonist Daniel Erdmann, a self-confessed lover of melody, had been looking for the right musicians to join him and in Theo Ceccaldi and Jim Hart he found the perfect team for the project. His tunes consist of compact melodic statements, short musical narratives that open up for free-flowing discussion between the participants.
Without the rhythmic propulsion of either a drummer or bassist, each musician is able to make full use of their individual strengths and to find different and imaginative ways of setting, defining and leaning into the pulse. From start to finish, the listener is taken on a journey of musical colour through composition and intelligent improvisation, each short piece a multi-faceted jewel that’s peppered with surprises and irrepressible musicality.
Daniel Erdmann, active as a member and coleader of many bands, is a leading German tenor saxophonist and composer. His pieces are compact, sometimes even complex, and within their forms the participants can roam freely. The themes – in both the musical and the intellectual sense – form the frame of reference. Daniel Erdmann is a self-confessed melodist. In this skein of voices with violin, viola and vibraphone, he weaves together a trio that makes it possible to for the parts to share rhythmic or harmonic aspects, to cross over or develop one another.
French violinist Théo Ceccaldi contributes something from the grand French string tradition, as well as jazz references and something very contemporary: he can wallow in melody, but also provide abstract, percussive action.
Daniel Erdmann knew Jim Hart from a visit to London, where the vibraphonist, who now lives in Colmar, was one of the cofounders of Loop Collective. With its luminous sound, the vibraphone reinforces the chamber music like magic of the trio. Jim Hart brings with him precisely that rhythmic competence that here enables him to dispense with drums, brilliantly.
The trio is a typically international band – like so many lineups in which Daniel Erdmann is active. There is no proclamatory intent behind this, simply the everyday reality and the tendency of this type of European jazz to make distances and borders seem increasingly irrelevant.
“Daniel Erdmann’s Velvet Revolution with French violinist extraordinaire Théo Ceccaldi and English percussion master Jim Hart (here solely on vibraphone) is a happy meeting of three kindred spirits and a tonal specialty. …Velvet Revolution is a true European group with a strong spirit, wit, great musical ideas as well as fantasy and capacity to make it work in captivating ways.
It’s not only the combination of instruments that is unique. The same applies to the playing. Fed by many sources, they act independently and together at the same time. They know what to play when, and how to arrive at a strong common theme, something that carries them along the predisposed into the imagined-in-the-moment. They are great at creating shifting atmospheres. It is heavy, then light again, firing at one moment and whispering the next.” …Henning Bolte, All About Jazz
“But it is not only Erdmann’s concise compositions, specially designed for this trio, that give his band “Velvet Revolution” a striking charisma. Thanks to their individual virtuosity, Erdmann, Ceccaldi and the British vibraphone player Jim Hart might even have their own spark from children’s songs or famous chansons. Their joy of playing and close-knit interaction are a pleasure, the connection of high art, vitality and fine humour succeeds exemplary. Live on stage many improvisations shed new light to the pieces: the three of them balancing on the high ropes of the free, but never overbearing, imagination”… Norbert Krampf, FAZ
Daniel Erdmann’s Velvet Revolution feat. Théo Ceccaldi and Jim Hart – A Short Moment of Zero G
(BMC CD239 . CD review by Nick Davies)
“Daniel Erdmann, already an active member and co-leader of many bands, has searched long and hard to establish Velvet Revolution, the perfect trio of musicians to deliver fresh music, improvised in relation to Erdmann’s composition.
A Short Moment of Zero G, showcases Erdmann as a gifted composer and tenor saxophonist, allowing his talented counterparts, Théo Ceccaldi on violin and viola and Jim Hart on vibraphone, the freedom to impose their unique style on this exciting album. This, in my opinion, is nothing short of inspired.
The album is released on the Hungarian label BMC, a label that is growing in strength with a number of excellent releases. A Short Moment of Zero G runs to 11 tracks and, although this a is a jazz album, the length of each average around 4 minutes long which is unusual for this genre but may well be long enough to entice the non-jazz listener.
Titles, I believe, are always an indication of the music contained within. Erdmann was particularly inventive with intriguing titles on this album like A Pair of Lost Kites Hurrying Towards Heaven and ‘Quand j’etas petit je rêvais d’etre pauvre’ (When I was little I dreamed of being poor).
Song titles are only part of the package however; the music has to be just as strong to have the desired effect. Upon first listen, the partnership of the composition with each member of the trio leading and the other members improvising around it works a treat. On the first track, A Pair of Kites Hurrying Towards Heaven Ceccaldi’s strings take the lead while Hart’s vibes and Erdmann’s saxophone create a rich tapestry around the rhythm. This theme continues throughout the album with Erdmann taking lead on track 4 Quand j’etas petit je rêvais d’etre pauvre and Hart on the title track, A Short Moment Of Zero G.
This is a trio which functions without the rhythmic propulsion of either a drummer or bassist, but that enables Erdmann to use each musician to their individual strengths and to find different and imaginative ways of setting, defining and leaning into the pulse.
From start to finish, the listener is taken on a journey of musical colour through composition and intelligent improvisation. The tightness of this dynamic band is evident in each track. Overall, A Short Moment of Zero G is a great listen, complete with impressive tunes, peppered with surprises and irrepressible musicality on every track.”