Exposé Online banner

During the Montreal International Jazz Festival we had the pleasure to hear the Christian Vander Trio. Like many North American Magma amateurs, I had never seen Vander playing live before, so this was a real treat on its own. The concert was outdoors, at 10:00 pm, on one of the numerous stages of the Jazz Fest.

by Alain Lachapelle, Published 1995-11-01

In the audience there were people sporting Magma and Offering t-shirts and, quite naturally, some shouted "Magma" or "Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh" during the concert, which made Christian smile. The rather short set (just a bit more than an hour) was made exclusively of jazz material from Vander's two Trio discs, with Philippe Dardelle on upright bass (who looked a bit exhausted at the end!) and Emmanuel Borghi on piano. The set started out smoothly under the feverish applause of the crowd and proceeded to get more and more involved, to the point where Christian got really into it. This is an amount of dedication to one's music that is rather scarce these days. Christian does not only play the music, he is the music. Of course, we can't ask that from every musician, and this is what makes the Vander Trio an exceptional happening: the spirit of the music.

The following comment may be controversial, but I really find there was more drumming by this one man than there was by two drummers on the latest King Crimson tour. Vander gives himself totally and seeing the man play is something no recording can replace.

Anecdote: at one point, the bass drum pedal broke. This created an event by itself as Stella Vander, on the side of the stage, pointed it out to a stage tech, who proceeded to crawl to the side of the drum while the band was still playing, the audience whispering, everyone focusing on the operation. Bright cheers were heard when Christian pounded again at the bass drum and gave a nod. All in all, an excellent evening of music, and we only can hope that Vander and company will be more often in North America.


Filed under: Concerts, Festivals, Issue 8

Related artist(s): Stella Vander, Christian Vander / Offering

Latest news

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gregg Bendian - Jeff Gauthier - Steuart Liebig - G.E. Stinson - Bone Structure – Superstar improv jams can be inspired by many attributes including astute listening, profound musicianship and abandoned release. Varying doses of each of these ingredients is found in these twelve...  (2006) » Read more

Terri Lyne Carrington - Jazz Is a Spirit – The talent of a prodigy does mature after a time, especially if surrounded by competent mentors in the entertainment industry. Terri Lyne Carrington came up from several very notable early appearances...  (2003) » Read more

Various Artists - Lost Years in Labyrinth II – Unlike volume one, there is no theme governing this one other than the fact that all the groups record for Belle Antique. They have intended it as a sort of beginner's guide. All the songs are...  (1996) » Read more

Final Conflict - Stand Up – Stand Up nicely sums up the Final Conflict modus operandi. Out front are the dual lead guitars and vocals of Brian Donkin and Andy Lawton (who I swear is Sean Bean’s long lost twin brother),...  (2011) » Read more

Jack o' the Clock - How Are We Doing, and Who Will Tell Us? – The East Bay area (Oakland and surrounding) has produced some interesting musical hybrids of late. A lot of that no doubt has to do with Fred Frith’s involvement with the esteemed Mills College,...  (2011) » Read more