Born: October 4, 1975
Claude R. Werner originally from Chile, landed in Newcastle upon Tyne by a circuitous route that took in New York, Paris, Barcelona, and goodness knows where else- a visiting Danish rhythm section greeted him as an old friend. Learnt his craft on the front-line playing with world class musicians across Europe. Those who have come to expect a sometimes slightly psychotic post-bopper tenor saxophonist are beguiled by the warm expressiveness of his tone in his most recent work, Thoughts and Recollections. Listen to the music.
For those who only know Claude as last night's sax toting tenor player shooting from and to 'the hip' at The Chilli, or the frontier stretching avant gardist of The Blofield Experiment, this CD reveals yet another facet of his personality. Thoughts and Recollections might, on the first spin, be wrongly described as bland. However, this is far from the case as repeated listenings have proved. The title of the album is apt - these are the original thoughts, recollections and compositions of a man who is not only a talented player but an equally compelling composer. Daydreaming portrays exactly what the title says and, in places, reminded me a little of early Warne Marsh. Nostalgia in Jesmond Vale - how could anyone from the north-east not be drawn to this even if it was written by a man from Chile? Underneath it all, David Carnegie plays subtly and effectively. Mick Wright and Lawrence Blackadder also have their say adding vital colour to the tonal landscape. An excellent CD - 9.99 out of 10. Lance Liddle; Be-bob Spoken Here
Claude Werner Quartet shines through the rain in St Anne’s Sq. It’s the Manchester Jazz Festival, its St Anne’s Square and it’s open to the elements. The heavy rain punctuated with short sharp bursts of strong sunlight kept the audience busy with umbrellas, drying seats and repeatedly scurrying for cover. This didn’t phase The Claude Werner Quartet however and it was clear that it would take a great deal more audience distraction to shake these accomplished players out of their collective groove.
A real international band this that Claude Werner (tenor sax) has put together ranging from his own roots in Chile through Barbados (David Carnegie on drums), Northern Ireland (Mark Williams on guitar) to the north-west with Laurence Blackadder on bass.
For me their music reflects the international mix within the band as each member’s influences were evident throughout the cleverly constructed Werner compositions.
Its hard to pick out a favourite from the 7 number set but the opener ‘City’, the closing ‘Things I cannot express’ and if for nothing else other than its appropriateness on the day ‘Sitting in the sun’ stood out.
The most striking thing about this band is how such strong individuals, and they all had the space to make their own statements, could create such an effortless sound which was relaxing yet challenging at the same time.
Claude Werner on tenor sax has a strong, clear tone and with more than a hint of Charles Lloyd in his technique. Extremely melodic but at times stepping way out of the box, such as on the finale ‘Things I cannot express’, but always with a distinct purpose. A consummate band leader and, on this showing, also a composer to be reckoned with.
Mark Williams on guitar augmented each number with his sharp and precise, but seemingly effortless solos.
David Carnegie was energetically confident on drums and together with the bass provided a driving purpose to this strong assured music.
Laurence Blackadder on bass provided a steady, pulsating support that underpinned the whole performance and allowed his fellow band members the perfect canvas on which to sketch their solos.
The Claude Werner Quartet can be heard on CD with ‘Thoughts and Recollections’
David Gosling (Jazz Promoter)
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Newcastle upon Tyne
Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.