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Matthew Bourne- The Molde Concert Live CD Review

I was browsing through the website of one of my favourite pianists Matthew Bourne today and on browsing through the views was rather stunned to see a rather poor review I'd written about his live CD 'The Molde Concert'. Released last summer the album is a live recording from a 2005 concert that took place at the Molde Jazz Festival in Norway. I wrote a piece about this CD on this very blog last summer (before I gave it a big revamp this last January). Anyway, Bourne's offical website has seen fit to include it with other press cuttings off his work. Enjoy:

"And now for something completely different. Leeds College Of Music lecturer Matthew Bourne is probably one of the most unclassifyable musicians in the world. Lumped in with a Jazz crowd that bares little or no resemblance to the pianists freestyled, avant-garde way of doing things. Nevertheless Bourne is beginning to build a cult following in Jazz circles, his compositions a refreshing breakout from the rules and restrictions that define even such a free genre as Jazz. It would not be so far fetched to say in fact that Bourne shares a lot more in common with the likes of rock contemporaries the Mars Volta than anyone from the Jazz world with his erratic displays of random soundbursts, percussive use of the piano and sprawling, fastpaced performance. This live album taken from his performance in Molde, Norway during 2005 showcases exactly what Bourne is all about. Playing in reaction to a series of sampled visual and audio aids on a large screen behind him the best comparison to make of the Leeds pianist's arrangements is to that of old Disney cartoon music as the melodies followed the buffoonery actions of Tom and Jerry et al. Indeed thats what this is, mood music as opposed to a conventional construction. Bourne shows that as long as something is played with feeling and meaning it can be as effective on an audience as anything else out there. Highlights include the track Sim, as Bourne picks up a spoken sample from Homer Simpson and follows the pitch of his voice on piano, and following track America which bastardises the 'Dicks, Pussies and Assholes' speech from Team America to whip a frenzied, tortured piano movement that becomes angrier and angrier each time. Bourne's wit and humour are clear throughout the gig, ironically making track Stupidity the most coherent and sustained period of piano playing throughout whilst Beaty is exactly what it says on the tin as the artist decides to use his piano as a percussion instrument. This is an album that portrays a man flowing with ideas, perhaps a DVD would have been more accessible to first time listeners but then Bourne has never really been about accessibility. Either loved as a free thinker striving to explore new boundaries or hated as a some sort of lame joke whose compositions bare absolutely nothing in common with music whatsoever he'll always be controversial. If you can embrace the notion of the Molde Concert as emotion and reaction over standard convention however then these set of recordings really are something to inspire and change your whole perspective on how you view music as a whole.

Jarrock, Jarock87.blogspot.com

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