Blazing Flame Quintet
The Blazing Flame Quintet play contemporary jazz based around the songs of poet, Steve Day. The French critic David Cristol described their latest CD as “mindblowing.” This year they have played prestigious venues such as The Vortex in London and Bristol Old Vic Theatre.
Steve Day provides the voice and hand-percussion; he is joined by Peter Evans on 5-string electric violin, recently described by the Italian magazine Music Zoom as “breathtakingly stunning”. Mark Langford, playing tenor saxophone & bass clarinet, is a renowned improviser. They are joined by Julian Dale, double bass & cello and Anton Henley drums and percussion, both steeped in orchestral & jazz music. All five have worked in various combinations with contemporary jazz legends Keith & Julie Tippett.
Gods, gardeners, painters, politicians, divas and film directors all play a part in these songs. Whether you’re a modern-jazz connoisseur or just interested in trying something different, listening, or better still seeing them perform live, is highly recommended.
“I am repeatedly listening to the latest Blazing Flame CD – it is mindblowing. Previous albums by Steve Day were really good too, but the band have topped themselves with this one. The blending of the music, vocals, poetry really works. It is a joy to listen to from beginning to end. Suits my mood too! Like David Lynch and David Byrne hurled into the twlight zone. In an ideal world, such a project/record should be number one. I hope to catch them live someday…… Glad such records are being made. It is very pleasing and healthy on the mind and heart.” David Cristol, (The Jazz Magazine) 2017, France.
“…..The album is a challenge because it comprises three different aspects.
In a way it takes us back to Poetry and Jazz, born in the 1920s with poets like Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot but very much a part of Jack Kerouac and Bob Kaufman’s ‘Beat’ generation. That means that the poetry is a central part. The verse itself is complicated and so to respond to it, listener or musician, you have to have some grasp of its intention.
David Amran, Jack Kerouac’s musical colleague is quoted as saying: ‘…..We did listen intently to one another. Jazz is all about listening and sharing. I never drowned out one word of whatever Jack was reading or making up on the spot….. We had mutual respect for one another, and anyone who joined us received the same respect.’
Secondly, the (BFQ) music is improvised. Peter Evans, Julian Dale and Anton Henley have played with larger ensembles of Blazing Flame before. They know the name of the game. Mark Langford is new to the line-up, but you would never know. These are very talented musicians who not only play fine solos but who respond and understand each other well.
Thirdly, and you don’t see this on the album, is performance. Steve Day’s voice is not like that of most vocalists, but he also performs his poetry with the enthusiasm and actions at times reminiscent of ….Jagger or Joe Cocker. This is worth mentioning in discussing the album because of the unseen dynamic that takes place between Steve’s approach and the response it brings from the musicians.”
Ian Maund, The Set List Shuffle review, Sandy Brown Jazz (September 2017)
To book Blazing Flame Quintet contact David at Fougou Media for more details.