It was hard to believe that Byron Wallen, Jihye Kim and Pouya Ehsaei had not performed together as a trio before – there seemed be such respect and understanding between the musicians, as if they were totally familiar with each other’s ways of playing. The three had shared ideas with each other in advance – and in particular Kim had sent some rhythmic clips to Ehsaei: I should imagine that the boxes of electronic magic over which he presides need a certain amount of pre-programming. But apart from a couple of hours in the afternoon of the gig to make sure that the evening would go smoothly, that was it.
The series of musical collaborations at Redon, under the railway arches at Cambridge Heath, is masterminded by Iranian sound artist Pouya Ehsaei, and each night is a one-off. Percussionist and performer Jihye Kim had been wanting to get together with Byron Wallen for a year or more. That ambition makes total sense: his gig with Hyelim Kim six years ago was one of the musical highlights of 2013. And one hopes that this will not be the only time they play together.
The organisers commented as follows:
Well last night was definitely one of the highlights of this whole journey. Korean percussionist Jihye Kim was a sensation – listening and adapting so well to Pouya Ehsaei’s electronics, her rhythms were totally bad ass from the second she started playing and she commanded the stage. Byron Wallen (trumpet) uffff what can we say! He was one of the musical inspirations for creating Parasang and last night he totally took our breath away. Thanks to the amazing crowd that came down and created the energy for this music to happen.
Byron Wallen, trumpet innovator and stalwart of the the British jazz and world music scene for the last couple of decades, seems to be able to turn his improvisational style of music to suit any genre and any musical collaborators.
Here’s a brief collection of clips from my own mobile phone…
… and that of 앤서방 …
… to give a flavour of the atmosphere of the evening. This was totally immersive playing, the sort of evening that you never want to end, and I hope the three artists get together again in the future.