Monday, October 03, 2005

hanging in there

Combination of lifting suitcases, sitting in cars for too long and worrying about the new book seems to have done in my back, yet again. Hence lack of recent posts, and, no doubt, of current coherence. I made it to half an hour of the LPO's rehearsal at the Royal Albert Hall yesterday but couldn't face sitting through a three-hour concert, so went home and MISSED WYNTON MARSALIS, about which I'm none too happy.

The LPO is touring Britain with Marsalis & his New York jazz band & a gospel choir in a big piece for big forces that he's written called ALL RISE. The orchestra is seriously excited about it - Tom says it's one of the best things he's ever done. I love big band jazz and was looking forward to hearing them in action - but the chairs in the Albert Hall eventually sent me and my lower back home for a hot bath instead. Watching the rehearsal - during which the unlikely combination of Kurt Masur and Marsalis proved quite an original team - was better than nothing, though.

Personally, however, I do have issues with the question of mingling jazz and classical playing in this way. I kept wishing the choir would shut up so we could hear the jazzers. It's a perennial question in the music magazines: do such joint-force efforts, whether with world music or jazz or pop, create something new and stimulating and inspiring, or do they water down their originals into some kind of three-legged hybrid that doesn't quite work? I always try to take the first view, but do sometimes find myself landing with the second despite myself. What do people think about this?

You can see the show in Manchester tomorrow (Tuesday) and Glasgow on Wednesday.