On Friday night, British pianist Elliot Galvin will take to the stage at A-Trane in a solo concert together with the European cooperative endeavour melting pot, which has been bringing together young improvisers since 2013.
Although still in his 20s, British pianist Elliot Galvin has exerted a profound impact on the British jazz scene, both as a sideman with the likes of Laura Jurd’s Dinosaur and Emma-Jean Thackray’s Walrus, in a freewheeling duo with saxophonist Binker Golding, and a leader of his own agile yet quirky trio. He has got a deep engagement with jazz tradition, but his music carves out its own space to make room for contemporary classical influences like Helmut Lachenmann and Harrison Birtwistle as well as hip-hop. Galvin has no use for genre lines, enfolding his curiosity with a breathtaking concision that uses humour, soul, and nonchalant virtuosity in equal measure. On exerted his recent “Modern Times”, he dialled back his interest in electronic experimentation to create a set of acoustic trio music that reflects the eclectic spirit of The Bad Plus while bristling with a fat-free directness, trusting in the intuitive erudition of his long-running colleagues to keep the proceedings dripping with wit and energy. As he told DownBeat magazine earlier this year: “In any given setting I try and just respond with a sound I think it will work, rather than analysing it too much and limiting my options by placing them in a box.”
Melting Pot is an ongoing European cooperative endeavour that brings together a diverse group of artists to form a new ensemble with little rehearsal. This year the collaboration occurs between Jazzfest Berlin, Handelsbeurs Concert Hall, Jazztopad Festival, Nasjonal jazzscene, and Jazz Festival Saalfelden, with each presenter choosing a musician from their own region to participate. Saxophonist Mia Dyberg (Berlin), drummer Katharina Ernst (Saalfelden), bassist Kobe Boon (Ghent), bassist Zbigniew Kozera (Wroclaw), and reedist Signe Emmeluth (Oslo) – all emerging figures with distinctive personalities – gathered for the first time in August in Saalfelden, but much of the power and beauty of improvised music is how it offers a platform for disparate artists to unite for a common purpose, without the baggage of context or tangled histories. Of course, there’s also the symbolic force of five musicians, mostly new to one another, bridging styles and ethnic backgrounds, to create something new.
- Elliot Galvin
- Mia Dyberg
- Signe Emmeluth
- Kobe Boon
- Zbigniew Kozera
- Katharina Ernst