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Kairos 4tet, Future Inns, Cabot Circus, Feb 14

February 18, 2010

Got back from London just in time to catch most of this one, and glad we did. Another young outfit that plays as a group, intensely and with real commitment to the leader’s compositions. They’ve had a lot of airplay and good review comment for their CD (well, for a jazz group) and the live set lived up to the advance praise easily. The whole effect is well described here, a review of a gig in Oxford a couple of days later – I can confirm that the venue is not nearly as nice as the Bristol club, but sounds as if the music didn’t suffer at all…

I’ll take that as an excuse not to go on much about them, except for two things to add. One is a word for the singer who came up for one tune in each set – Emilia Martensson. Always an uneasy moment when an unfamiliar vocalist takes the stand as they can easily ruin the evening, but she is really something, in an almost Pepe Lemerish vein for folk who remember that far back.

It is Adam Waldman’s band, and one heard a lot of his excellent soprano playing. But special mention also for the remarkable Jasper Høiby on bass. He is such a gripping player, and lifts any band. I’ve seen him in quite a few outfits now, including his own group Phronesis, and he is never less than fully committed to whatever is happening around him, and turns in consistently passionate solos. There are plenty of bass players I’d be as happy to see and hear, but I can’t think of a better one on the scene in the UK at the moment. He has not been in the country all that long – a few years I think – but even at a time when brilliant young musicians are coming through in large numbers, he already feels like a man who would be missed if he ever moved on.

Having driven the North Circular and the rainy M4 before the gig, we left happy if knackered  – but then I guess bands who come and play in Bristol do that all the time.

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