Live Review: Quentin Tarantino and the Reservoir Dogs at the Cellar 02/11/07

first_imgAnd its not just their sharp suits and intricately sculpted facial hair which is making the crowd go wild. The youth of Oxford seem to have discovered something startling – jazz-funk is a riot, and Quentin Tarantino and the Reservoir Dogs are its ringleaders. Entering the cellar mid-gig there are any number of things you might expect to see –  a crowd of carefully coiffured indie kids tapping converse-clad feet, the wall of studied disinterest of the post-rock brigade, even the odd mini-moshpit (in a very polite, Oxfordian manner, of course). But tonight, the couple at the front of the crowd seem to be doing the Charleston. And the way the girl beside the stage is moving can’t be described in any terms other than ‘jive’. Tonight, Ladies and Gentlemen, Quentin Tarantino and the Reservoir Dogs are in town. Quentin Tarantino and the Reservoir Dogs, however, by adding the funk to the jazz, seem to have solved this problem. They have all the technical brilliance and scintillating flights of jazz – the sharp bursts of energy, the challenging departures, then the sudden resurfacing of the familiar motifs – but they’ve managed to do it without the 24 bar drum solos. The pace is kept up and the texture meaty as they attack old jazz standards with the power of a full band, or engage in short, sharp exchanges between the instruments, rather than descending into fret-noodling tedium. And the excitement of audience’s response says it all. There’s dancing, laughing, shrieking even (though that may indeed have been the effect of the facial hair), and in over an hour’s set, no-one seems to be experiencing a dull moment. Now, Cherwell 24 can appreciate the genius of jazz just as much as the next online, student-written, Oxford-based newspaper, but we’ve rarely seen anyone dance to it. And the reason for this, as anyone who’s been to the Bullingdon Arms of a Tuesday night will appreciate, is that it’s just not inclusive enough. The extended solo serves as an opportunity for the other band members to give the soloist a knowing wink, congratulating him for a particularly daring E flat or the audacious move into 9/8 time. For the audience, trying to keep up with the professionals on stage, it’s far too painfully cerebral an experience for it to spark the body into anything more than an anxious finger tap (or a few successive trips to the bar). center_img by Georgina White Tonight, we all get to discover how vibrant, how exciting this kind of music can be, and it’s funking sensational. As the final strains of the trombone fade into the midnight air, this reviewer sets off, a born again jazz-funk convert.last_img

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