Last night was my first ever visit to Charlie Wrights International venue in Shoreditch..
This Venue really could be described as intimate as the audience are nearly sitting in the band.
The buzz of anticipation for this great lineup was shown by the queue outside and the amount of people hoping to be on the guest list however the list was seriously tight last night with not much joy even for journalist,Which in one notable case might just backfire for the venue in the future! Anyway I was lucky as I got my guest list request in early.
Pat Thomas,Steve Williamson,Roy Campbell and Roger Turner hit the stage early for the first set and did not disappoint as they tore into some fiery Hardcore Free Jazz that looked to have shocked a few people in the crowd who have obviously not been paying attention to changes and growth that have taken place within many musicians on the scene.
Pat and Steve first met and played together at my Solo Summit Festival in 2002 as a duet, meeting up again last year at the Oxford "Cohesion" Festival,where they left a discerning audience spellbound with some amazing music.
I first met Roy Campbell the incredible Trumpet player and Flautist from the U.S, when Pat
and myself were invited to perform at the brilliant "Outside in" festival in Newcastle a few years ago in fact that was were I first heard the powerhouse Drummer that is Roger Turner,Anyway we hit it off immediately with subsequent gigs and recordings happenning in various settings since then. Roy always brings some great playing and compositions to the table as well as a great personality.Tonight he did not disappoint with a non stop supply of lyrical and harmonic invention equally matched by Steve and Pat who just took the music and sounds further and further up to new heights at every twist and turn of the music, propelled by Roger Turner's percussion masterclass drumming!
Tonight the first set was on fire but the second set really took off with Pat taking a central role on Charlie Wrights new Steinway piano and cleverly using vintage prophet 5 sounds and Korg MS synth sounds to drop bombs and amazing soundscapes that further urged the rest of the musicians on to create some epic moments..Steve Williamson really moved the assembled room of respected musicians with his solid majestic Spiritual tones and awesome virtuoso technical ability on Tenor Saxophone.
It was interesting to observe one of the Japanese Baritone players from the10 piece Baritone band that have been going down a storm through the London Jazz festival,As he was watching Steve play you could see how much he was excited by his playing by how much he was smiling!When I spoke with him afterwards this only reinforced this view by him asking
"Why are they not in Big VENUE, it's amazing" Why not indeed?Hopefully this group can record and put something on a label soon.Watch out next year for Steve joining up with my "Routes through Roots" Ensemble I think it could be absolutely on fire!
The gig was recorded by BBC Radio 3 for broadcast after the festival so look out for it and enjoy..