With the assistance of Jazz Alive, the Roundhouse and Hoxton Hall's Loaded Lyrics crew, Edge 08 - a fringe to the London Jazz Festival - conjures up a night of FUTURIZM.
Saturday night in Hoxton Street and the debris of the day's market lined the gutter. Inside Hoxton Hall, the space which provides the cultural heartbeat to the real Hoxton, the atmosphere crackled with excitement as dozens of young musicians registered in the lobby while others soundchecked in the classic old skool theatre.
The sounds of nu soul wafted into the band room which was alive with dozens of young players flexing on their instruments. A tousle haired boy in his early teens lets off a run on the alto sax that is so fluid and smooth it gives this listener a genuine shock. In the cafe a boy/girl duo worked on a version of Miriam Makeba's 'Click Song' - it's their tribute to South African singer/musician/activist who had passed away earlier that week.
Futurizm was programmed by Orphy Robinson and Soweto Kinch, both of whom teach in various projects in the capital. It was a unique session which united, for the first time, the cream of young artists from Jazz Alive, The Roundhouse and Hoxton Hall itself.
As a performance it was a game in two halves but throughout the audience were consistently confronted with a freewheeling and eclectic mix of sounds and music. The first half of the night was given added grit and grime through the poetic interventions of Hoxton Hall's own Loaded Lyrics crew who had written and learned how to memorise and perform their own words in three days! Yes, they brought to Futurizm's musical agenda their own unique innner city, working class, multi racial vision and they did it with panache.
The first set culminated with the Roundhouse All Stars - A.S.A.P - delivering a rocknfunknjaz clash that echoed the spirit of those musicians in the Sixties and Seventies like Miles, Hendrix, Sly Stone or George Clinton who suddenly discovered they could transcend musical boundaries and mesh the horns with the electronic power of rock guitar. Respek goes to that low slung strat weilding kid who wasn't afraid to cut loose with a blistering little solo and an attitude to match.
The second set had the the Jazz Alive crew hit the stage, fresh from wowing the RFH/South Bank with their tribute to Herbie Hancock. Along with their unique version of 'Chameleon' they bounced into an uplifting anthem that celebrated their own existence - Jazz Alive was the WORD! They were followed by the Descendants Of A Quest, a tight four piece, who were fronted by a trio of vocalists. Of the three (2 boys and 1 girl) it was a dynamic Chantelle Nandi who took the lead and delivered a range of tunes that spanned nu-soul (light and dark), jazz'n'scat and lovers rock. As the night edged towards an end Chantelle handed the baton over to Theo Llewellyn who brought the house down and the lights up with a vibesin' rendition of Stevie Wonder's 'Another Star'.
PB @ Straight No Chaser
Respek goes to HOXTON HALL for hosting this event, to all the projects involved and, most of all, to the performers/musicians who gave us a solid dose of Futurizm.