Retrospectives about recently deceased artistes can be a double edged sword. Is it too early? Did that album really mean that much? Prince seemed to have lived his life in preparation for such an exhibition as he seemed never to have thrown anything away and everything he used seemed to serve some sort of design purpose. Jazz on the other hand reinvents itself constantly while always keeping a foot firmly in the past. London is the ideal location for such cerebral ventures as we have the venues, audiences and the history. There’s certainly no shortage of indoor entertainment available in the Capital this month.
Prince’s restless mind involved itself in every aspect of the creative process and he ensured that he always had enough space and independence to follow his own path. Paisley Park in Minneapolis was his HQ and is the source of most of the material on show from swirly guitar designs to his extensive collection of pixie boots.
The alternative nerve that Depeche Mode struck has kept them at an artistic and commercial high and, now a trio, they bring their industrial synth rock to the O2. “Enjoy The Silence” was their breakthrough hit in the US and it’s a song that sums up the band and the audience completely: brooding, hypnotic and full of outsider chic.
Instead there is a renewed focus on young artists, especially those who are involved in producing as well as performing. Of course the big names are still there. Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny and Manu Dibango are all playing but look out also for Robert Glasper and Cory Henry, two young masters who are taking up the baton.
This got him into trouble in his native Italy which was still dominated by the clergy, but when he got to Paris, he was able to express himself more fully. The Tate have managed to mount one of Modigliani’s largest retrospectives and will also be holding talks and workshops about this enigmatic artist.