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Epoch/Greg Sterland – Salt Cafe Friday

August 20, 2017

A short post to review the venue as much as the music. We’re not short of jazz spots in Bristol, and they all have their pros and cons (I write as one who didn’t manage to get a seat for Andy Sheppard at the Fringe last week…). Never mind, there’s always another gig. This one featured Matt James on guitar, playing a pleasing selection of other people’s tunes (Ellington, Wheeler, Shorter, Parker and a particularly nice treatment of Coltrane’s Syeeda’s Flute Song). He’s a fluid soloist in what I think of as the Berklee School style (Mick Goodrick to Wolfgang Muthspiel), and finished with an intriguing composition of his own, Andromeda Collides (?) that took things in a slightly different direction.

I don’t know how often this trio gets together but the set was lifted by the understanding between Pasquale Votino on bass and Paulo Adamo on drums, who I think must play together pretty well every night. They also gave great support to young tenor player Greg Sterling in the first set. I missed most of that so won’t say more except that he’s obviously someone to listen to properly another time.

And the venue? Salt Cafe is a stroll from the centre, and it’s just a very nice room to relax and listen. Much as I enjoy the music in other places, they aren’t rooms you’d visit for any other reason. So it’s nice to be sitting somewhere of an evening where you think it would be a good idea to come back during the day just to grab a coffee or a snack.20245379_2032592603635388_814340919758304812_n.jpg

It only seats a couple of dozen downstairs but that doesn’t seem a problem yet. They do food when there are evening events, and seem to feature jazz every now and again, so worth keeping an eye on their events page if you fancy a change of scene from those rooms tightly packed with chairs of questionable origin, where you have to put your pint on the floor and try not to kick it over during the music…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 21, 2017 10:09 am

    I missed the Andy Sheppard Fringe summer gig last year and so booked and, critically, arrived early to enjoy this year’s gig. Fringe gigs rarely sell-out despite the high quality of most of the performers and so it was encouraging to note the number of “newcomers” to this most recent event. If only this type of interest could be sustained then the promoter’s enthusiastic determination to provide these offerings would receive the recognition it deserves.(He has been known to pay an entrance fee to his own gigs!). I agree that the Salt Cafe is a welcome addition to the number of interesting multi-purpose venues in Bristol and the fact that jazz only features once every full-moon as part of a range of diverse artistic and political offerings does not compete with the great work done by the Be Bop Club just down the road. The food and general ambience are great too.Pasquale Votino and Paulo Adamo should receive some sort of award in appreciation of their conscientious and entertaining contributions to the Bristol jazz scene…I always enjoy their performances.

  2. August 21, 2017 1:23 pm

    must try the food next time…

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