JOOST LIJBAART AT THE CUC WINE BAR
How different can jazz get? Be it a Bee Bop fest or a Blue Note riff, it’s as diverse as music itself and the Cambridge Modern Jazz Club are up for all of it. Adventurous, experimental – out on a limb even - it’s all grist to their mill.
Joost Lijbaart and his mystical trio test the limits of the genre. On their first gig of a round Britain tour , this was less predictably jazz and more a sonic opera, a concatenation of colour in sound.
Joost is on drums. Ostensibly. But then he’s also pinging and striking a range of small timpani, as he reaches and grasps at an entire wardrobeful of metallic media .The result props up the undercroft of the performance. On this tall rangy Netherlander’s rhythmic genius rests the deeply satisfying base layering for the band. Bram Stadhounders . Looking like an early version of Scott Walker, snatches up a substantial guitar – and then a tiny one - can’t have been a ukele surely -to add a stabilizing rhythm. But supremely over -arching this musical armature is the other-worldly voice of Sanne Rambags.
Their first album ‘Under the Surface’ released less than two years ago has propelled them into and admiring audience and sparked an almost constant world tour. Everywhere they go be it China, Africa, India or Europe, people appear to recognize the folk-style language-less voice of Sanne, She plays what looks like a large wooden sewing machine, crouched over it on the ground – it’s Indian strangely enough made by a company called Singh. The Cambridge Gig was its first outing. Yet Sanne; s voice is really her instrument.
“ The works are all improvised” Joost explains (unnecessarily in fact as no one could replicate the huge range of singing Sanne breathes forth) “ It changes according to where we are, the vibes in the room are different in this smaller space, whereas when we are at a festival they’re quite different.”
When Sanne got going I felt as if I had been called into some sort of celestial hall of serenity. What she’s like when she simply sings a song we can’t know but this singing is something else, more like some call from a far distant past, or another planet. It is utterly mesmerizing. No wonder audiences as far apart as Africa and Ireland recognize a strong inner connection with her. Priestess or Sybil, this performer is on a spiritual plane quite unforgettable.
They are off to Scotland – and yet it must feel like going home, Sanne could be the lone keening woman on the Western shore singing a timeless, language- less song for humanity.
Quite a long way from Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk . Bold and beautiful this band’s music is. Just as seductive and enduring in its own subversive way.
Saturday 29th June Mark Lockheart’s ‘Days on Earth’a the Stapleford Gallery
July 11th at CUC Alex Hitchcock