This coming week, dEUS singer Tom Barman and saxophonist Robin Verheyen launch a European tour for their art-rock/narrative-tinged jazz band TaxiWars, taking in the Netherlands, England, France, Germany, Austria and Belgium.
Completed by two of Robin’s fellow New York-based Belgian jazzmen (double bass player Nicolas Thys and rising drummer Antoine Pierre) and partially inspired by Tom’s tendency to immerse himself in old Blue Note and Impulse label records when on dEUS downtime, TaxiWars have a motile smooth/gruff sound. They focus on structures, scenes and subleties rather than solos; taking sparks and smoulders from Charles Mingus, Art Blakey, Max Roach, Pharoah Sanders and Artie Shepp (while, on the pop side, padding after the demi-monde restlessness of Morphine and Prince). The band’s second album, ‘Fever’, came out earlier this month.
- L’Aeronef, Avenue Willy Brandt 168, Centre Commercial, 59777 Euralille, Lille, France, Tuesday 25th October 2016, 8.00pm (with Red) – information
- Latest Music Bar, 14-17 Manchester Street, Brighton, BN2 1TF, England, Wednesday 26th October 2016, 8.00pm (with guests t.b.c.) – information
- Servant Jazz Quarters, 10a Bradbury Street, Dalston, London, N16 8JN, England, Thursday 27th October 2016, 8.00pm (+ guests t.b.c.) – information
- Cultuurcentrum Evergem, Weststraat 31, 9940 Sleidinge, Evergem, Belgium, Saturday 29th October 2016, 8.00pm (with Rudy Trouvé + Mauro Pawlowski) – information
- Bitterzoet, Spuistraat 2, 1012 TS Amsterdam, Netherlands, Sunday 30th October 2016, 8.00pm – information
- TivoliVredenburg, Vredenburgkade 11, 3511 WC Utrecht, Netherlands, Monday 31st October 2016, 7.00pm – information
- 013 Poppodium, Veemarktstraat 44, 5038 CV Tilburg, Netherlands, Tuesday 1st November 2016, 9.00pm – information
- Nachtasyl @ Thalia Theater, Alster Gate 2, 20095 Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday 2nd November 2016, 10.00pm – information
- Bi NUU, U-Bhf Schlesisches Tor, 10997 Berlin, Germany, Thursday 3rd November 2016, 7.00pm – information here and here
- Chaya Fuera, Kandlgasse 19- 21 • 1070 Wien, Austria, Saturday 5th November 2016, 7.00pm
- Lantaren Venster, Otto Reuchlinweg 996, 3072 MD Rotterdam, Netherlands, Thursday 10th November 2016, 8.30pm – information
- Autumn Falls Festival @ Bozar, Ravensteinstraat 23, 1000 Brussels, Belgium, Friday 11th November 2016, 7.00pm (with Tape Cuts Tape + Gianluca Petrella + Sylvie Courvoisier Trio – also playing DJ set) – information
- Autumn Falls Festival @ Muziekodroom, Bootstraat 9, BE-3500 Hasselt, Belgium, Saturday 12th November 2016, 8.00pm – information
- Autumn Falls Festival @ Zaal De Zwerver, Dorpsstraat 95, Middelkerke, Belgium, Sunday 13th November 2016, 8.00pm (with Tape Cuts Tape) – information
- Autumn Falls Festival @ Het Bos, Ankerrui 5-7, B-2 000 Antwerpen, Belgium, Sunday 14th November 2016, 8.00pm (with Tape Cuts Tape) – information
Here’s a full TaxiWars set from last year:
For most of the dates the band seem to be playing alone (in jazz-friendly mid-to-late night sets), but some of the gigs feature guest performers in support slots. What’s happening at their two English shows remains a bit of a mystery, even a handful of days beforehand. For the tour debut in Lille, they’re supported by Red, the lo-fi Franco-Americana project by genre-restless experimental musician Olivier Lambin, featuring what he refers to variously and obscurely as “unprivate blues” containing ingredients like “hack analog electro, wooden guitar, the noises of planets and stars.” (On record, much of it sounds like home recordings interpenetrated by eerie and slightly disturbing sonic moods, offsetting the gentleness of the singing with a disreputable, disassociative air. I’ve no idea how he’ll work that kind of grubby magic live…)
Back in Belgium, TaxiWars’ show at Evergem will also feature solo sets from two of Tom Barman’s dEUS colleagues – the band’s early-‘90s guitarist Rudy Trouvé and its current-but-soon to-depart guitarist (and Evil Superstars frontman) Mauro Pawlowski. Rudy promises “an intimate set interrupted by animation… something between classic singer-songwriter action and a ‘70s evening with slides”, while Mauro isn’t promising anything in particular besides “new and old work in a crisp, casual and funny way”. However, the two men (both promiscuously-collaborating Belgian art-music veterans who’ve played together extensively in both Love Substitutes and Kiss My Jazz) are holding out the prospect of a collaborative duet – perhaps in the line of their duet set in Oude Beurs at the start of the month. Tasters from both Rudy and Mauro are below.
Rudy will reappear for three of TaxiWars’ four appearances at Belgium’s multi-town, multi-venue Autumn Falls festival, in which he’s playing support again as part of regular improvising trio Tape Cuts Tape. A collaboration with Lynn Cassiers and Eric Thielemans, they’re now onto their third record of kosmiche-and-dub-inspired drone-grooves, re-wrangled baroque chamber influences, spacious experimental sound-stagings and unexpectedly tender tunefulness.
The first of the Autumn Falls shows (in Brussels) also sees TaxiWars sharing the bill with some serious jazz talent. There’ll be a set from the award-winning young Italian jazz trombonist Gianluca Petrella – since he’s playing solo, expect a set with copious loops, processing and effects. There’ll also be one by Swiss-born/Brooklyn-based pianist, composer and improviser Sylvie Courvoisier, featuring her trio with drummer Kenny Wollesen and bass player Drew Gress (a lineup which, in addition to Sylvie’s prolific work as a leader or co-leader, encompasses work with Sonny Stitt, John Zorn, Cab Calloway, Tim Berne, Jack DeJohnette, Tom Waits, Norah Jones, Bill Frisell and Ellery Eskelin).