Review on Bojan-Z Music Concert February 27 2013
Film and Music
Submitted By waynenguyen
On February 27, I had a chance to attend a jazz concert by French jazz pianist Bojan Z, which was taken place at the Institute for Cultural exchange with France (IDECAF) in Ho Chi Minh City.
The concert was an opportunity for Bojan to feature some of his best work selected from the “Soul shelter” and “Transpacifi” albums, namely Natural Ground, Buzz, No 9, Pick It Up and Empty Shell. The performance also featured some new, incomplete works which are still being developed. Many of them were influenced by traditional Balkan music, as Bojan said. The band consisted of Josh Roseman on trombone, Ruth Goller on bass, Sebastian Rochford on drums and Bojan Z himself on the piano.
Bojan Z began his concert by banging out a percussion rhythm on the grand piano’s lid and top, which was strange but really interesting. This acted as a intro point for a modern and funky, danceable jazz tune along with bitonal structures and bitonal points. At multiples times, he reached inside the piano and touched out bass notes directly on the strings like a bassist usually does on his own instrument. That was really amusing for the audience.
Some of Bojan Z's tune were played through a couple of effects boxes (one of which as a digital delay) and occasionally on a xenophone, an electronic keyboard of his own design. His jazz technique is redoubtable, to be sure, and his solos scorch the air, along with his fingers never waver. For a few tracks, the melodies usually hides inside continuous ranges of improvisation, served more as bones inside a body of sound, more like supportive structures than flashy facades. In the third track of the night, Josh and Bojan together played a unison melody as a recurring interlude between trombone improvisations. The melody helps divided Bojan’s solo into ranges of increasing intensity, and filled to his impassioned improvisation a beautifully sense of balance and pace. It was definitely one of the best tracks of the evening. Another thing about the tracks was sameness between many of them. They often consist of arbitrary group improvisations that rarely included concerted melody or rhythm. This lack of compositional contrast indicates Bojan’s interest in the interplay of his bandmates. In my opiniton, this can be a problem in terms of improvisational excitement, and with the band’s talents, more assertive and varied compositions might create a more amusement to the audience, and can also provide the improvisers more spaces to demonstrate their skills.
Overall, the concert was really successful and gave the audience a great time enjoying jazz music.