Music - The Hub & Squall

The sound of New York’s Dirty Jazz scene comes to Prague.

The Hub and Squall

Friday, October 18th at Belzepub

U Rajské Zahrady 14, in >=i?kov

When it comes to the expression of complex musical ideas, few genres can touch
jazz for its range of possibilities.

The newest of these possibilities is a New York-based movement called “dirty jazz.”
Inspired by John Zorn’s Naked City albums and Sex Mob’s deconstructions of pop
songs, dirty jazz is a uniquely postmodern bouillabaisse of disparate influences
that maintains the disciplines and ethos of jazz at its core. Sex Mob played Akropolis
about a year ago and Zorn visits Prague on occasion, but the New York trio The
Hub has been the most active force in bringing dirty jazz to Europe.

The trio, composed of Sean Noonan on drums, Dan Magay on Saxophone and Tim Dahl
on Bass, has been called “awesome and unforgettable” (The New York Post) and “their
strikingly sharp and fresh” sound “unlike any in the new millennium” (The Boston
Globe). The Hub has toured Europe twelve times since their inception in 1995,
and this month’s Prague stop marks the band’s sixth visit. A typically memorable
and bizarre show at the touristy Jazz Club >=elezná last year was marked by a dozen
shocked Germans walking out after the first few loud and dissonant notes, leaving
Prague music fans scampering into the newly vacated seats.

Last year, their tenth European tour got off to an ominous start when Noonan broke
his hand on their manager’s face and was forced to play the entire tour one-handed.
When a drunken Norwegian tourist in Prague virtually assaulted Noonan mid-song
with a request for “Happy Birthday,” the drummer was able to hold down the complicated
rhythm and single-handedly dispatch the lout without missing a beat.

The Hub’s current two-month, 12-city European tour is in support of their third
album, Trucker. The album is their first venture to be distributed in conjunction
with the label Innova Records, affiliated with the U.S. National Endowment for
the Arts. Noonan describes the album as a part of the band’s continuing efforts
to “explore elements of jazz, punk, new wave, metal, funk and freeform improvisation.”

The band is heavily influenced by avant-garde composer Charles Ives, a reclusive
insurance salesman who wrote some of the most progressive and brilliant music
of the early 20th century. The Hub fuses Ives’ explorations of dissonance and
aural counter-points with the energy of speed-metal act Slayer and Japanese noise
rockers Melt Banana. But the backbone of the music remains jazz, and in their
music you can hear elements of such giants as Eric Dolphy, Freddie Hubbard and
Miles Davis.

This time The Hub is joining forces with local indie heroes Squall at the hole-in-the-wall
>=i?ov venue Belzepub. The combination of these two bands promises to be one of
the most exciting and intimate music nights in Prague this fall. The show will
mark the halfway mark on the Hub’s current tour and should see them at the height
of their energy. Squall will be gathering steam for their first European tour
this November in support of their acclaimed album, How Things Work. A strict music
curfew means that the music must end at 10, so the show will start promptly at
8 p.m.

As in all good revolutions, those at the frontlines of vanguard music movements
aren’t always pretty, but they are always remembered. Don’t miss this unusual
music event.

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