Sat, June 28, 2014
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Partisans at TD Ottawa Jazz Festival at National Arts Center
Since their formation in 1996 Partisans has been thrilling audiences the world over with their ferociously energetic performances of tightly knit themes and the great freedom coming from their years of playing together. Partisans are real band – known for bridging the gap between New York swing, European improv and UK jam– where the combination of each member’s influences feeds a genuine creative spark generating huge excitement and energy. Co-led by two of the preeminent musicians of their generation, Phil Robson (guitars) and Julian Siegel (tenor sax & bass clarinet), the quartet line-up is completed by Thaddeus Kelly (bass) and Gene Calderazzo (drums). They are widely acknowledged as the godfathers of the new wave of British post-jazz and improv, and have outlived many of the bands that have come since their formation. BBC Radio 3 asserts they are “one of the most exciting all star experimental groups in jazz today”.
Partisans cook up a trademark shot of gritty be-bop mashed with hard bop, early electric Miles (one of their main influences), ballads with sustained delicacy, rock riffs mixed with P-Funk grooves and with fresh departures into electronica. The richly lyrical and strongly melodic compositions written by Robson and Siegel provide the framework and starting point, underpinned by the rock solid, freewheeling and supercharged rhythm section of Kelly and Calderazzo.
With years of touring around the globe and a cult following in their native UK, where they have played every conceivable venue from backwater pubs to the largest concert halls and festivals, Partisans have released four albums to date: their self-titled debut (1997, EFZ), Sourpuss (2000, Babel), Max (2005, Babel) and By Proxy (2009, Babel). They have also collaborated with many icons of modern music, most notably Steve Swallow and Wayne Krantz, the former who exclaims “Partisans present some of the most refreshing music I’ve heard in a long while, uncompromising, very well written and very well played.” September 2014 sees Partisans release their fifth studio album Swamp on the Whirlwind Recordings imprint. This new album is deeply rooted in the Partisan trademark vibe and sound, but completely blows open their already eclectic and unpredictable palette, taking their music to new heights as a result of their near 20 years together.
“Partisans are one of the most consistently inventive and original bands.” – The Scotsman
“Restless, almost reckless energy… delirious listening… consistently thrilling.” - BBC Music Magazine
“Intelligent, varied and often dazzling.” - The Evening Standard
“Partisans always sounds like the regular confederacy it’s been since 1996 – the tricky zigzagging heads are played with flawless attack, and the quartet’s trademark quality of seamless idiom and time-shifting within each piece operates with a gleeful tautness.” – The Guardian
“Godfathers of the ferocious UK ‘post-jazz’ groups.” - The Times
“Partisans’ long expected masterpiece, By Proxy is one of the most exciting albums to be released on either side of the Atlantic in 2009.” – All About Jazz
National Arts Center, 53 Elgin Street