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Glen Macnamara

Chet Baker: Speedball
@ the 606 Club
20 November 2007

Click an image to enlarge.

About Chet Baker: Speedball

Speedball is a creative response to the iconography of jazz trumpeter/vocalist Chet Baker, a legend of the 1950’s ‘cool school’ whose mystique was built upon a life as turbulent off-stage as it was poetic on-stage. Speedball explores how we respond to a life once lived, how we today as musicians, writers and artists can respond to the life of an eminent jazz musician in all its complications.

Taking an ambiguous, fragmentary approach, Speedball pursues an original and organic integration of text, music and performance, where a medley of stories, songs, spoken lyrics and film clips - apparently random, yet ordered in its inevitable chaos - are underscored by original compositions. Like a speedball falling from the sky, anything goes in this collaboration by director Nicholai La Barrie, writer Mark O’Thomas and pianist/composer Andrea Vicari, as they blend theatre, performance and music with the dexterity of a late-night jam session.

Developing Chet Baker: Speedball

Chet Baker: Speedball is an exciting and original collaboration between artists of different disciplines, using jazz not as a tool but as an essential form in the process. The work evolved through creative response: the artists were each given a collection of material, including recordings, interviews, biography and photographs, and asked to respond as they wished. The responses were broad, including text and dialogue, new composition, photography and film, and helped generate a first draft script. During the rehearsal process all artists and performers contribute to the development of an organic, seamless relationship between the music, text and performance. The script is revised daily to respond to the musical and performative improvisations and the original music and jazz standards are arranged to incorporate the responses to text and performance.

Cast:
Nicholas La Barrie – director, Mark O’Thomas – writer
Andrea Vicari – composer / piano, Andy Davies – trumpet
Glen Macnamara – vocals / dialogue

Glen Macnamara

Glen Macnamara

Glen Macnamara

Andy Davies

Andy Davies


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