Laura Jurd + Dinosaur + Guests – St George’s, Bristol

Thursday 7th March, 2019

Modern cutting edge jazz in an ensemble led by a female trumpeter who has been Mercury nominated. In a gender balanced group with strings, double percussion and brass. This so should have been right up my street. Yet is wasn’t and I feel kinda sad about that.

So many factors contribute to whether a gig is a good one or not that I will not lay the blame at Laura Jurd’s feet. I was very tired. I had to hot-foot it to St George’s from my son’s first Secondary School Parents Evening and all its associated chaos. I hadn’t eaten properly. All things that weren’t conducive to listening to experimental jazz.

I’m still a jazz newbie and finding my feet so this sort of deep dive into jazz was perhaps not going to suit me. What was positive was seeing a bunch of young musicians playing with their genre to continue to bring new life to it; all music and culture requires a vanguard of youth to push it forward. It was also great to see that 7 of the 14 musicians were female and that most of the composition was from the female members of the collective. The future is female! I also liked parts of each piece, there was some eerie violin work that was a little bit disturbing and the improvised piece played before the interval had some promise. Overall though it was too jarring and difficult for my ears on this occasion. Perhaps on another day, in a different state of mind I would have enjoyed it.

This was my 16th gig of 2019 and the 15th where I did not know the music beforehand. I do go by programme notes and recommendations, but I guess I will always end up with some clunkers, Not everything fits. This gig was a bit like the petite fit, navy jersey jumpsuit (with pockets) that I bought online in a sale not long ago. On paper all seemed to be perfect. Then in reality the cut just wasn’t right.

I am still glad I went, and that my ticket money went towards supporting young female talent. It is a bit of a shame that the music and I were not as well suited as I thought we would be, but I can’t like everything.



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