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Killer Shrimp, Future Inn, Cabot Circus, Nov 7

November 11, 2010

A band which is well settled-in, touring to mark a new album release, was a good prospect. They did not disappoint. The two front men, Ed Jones on tenor and Damon Brown on cornet, have a seamless way of playing together which produces a nice sound blend. Sometimes it is very Blue Note-style hard bop, but there are some beats thrown in from a laptop , when a bit of funk creeps in, and occasional use of a mike with a modest distortion wired in. In other words, they have jazz virtues in abundance without pretending that no other music has happened for half a century.

Brown seemed a little subdued sole-wise this evening. A couple of his excursions sort of petered out ineffectually (and most uncharacteristically) and he looked to me to be displeased with his own efforts. Or maybe that is imagination on my part, but the driving and ever-inventive Jones caught my ear more this time round.

Their own compositions,, old and new, are pretty neat, although a treatment of Monk’s I Mean You was also a second set highlight. It provoked a splendidly oblique Monkish solo from Jones which was reminiscent of late 1950s Rollins, all bleary tone and almost sarcastic lines weaving round the beat.

This one, like the others, benefitted from the wonderfully solid bass sound of  Mark Hodgson, who reminded me of plenty of people but especially Mark Helias for some reason, and the technically gifted if sometimes overwhelming drummer Alan Cosker. Paul Motian he’s not, and one solo would have sufficed, but he certainly kept the energy levels up.

A nice Sunday night, and prelude to an indulgent few days – Bristol and the London Jazz Festival between them providing more music than I can cope with. But should just about manage James Morton and Soweto Kinch at the Old Vic tomorrow, the undersung but wonderful Bobby Bradford at the Purcell room Saturday, some township jazz exponents at the Vortex on Sunday and then South Africans in force back in Bristol next week with Hugh Masekela at Colston Hall. Should be quite a week!  Probably means missing Bourne/Davis/Kane trio at Future Inns this Sunday, but that would certainly be on the list if I thought I could get back here in time….   The Autumn jazz fest/feast is well under way.

 

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