Friday, June 30, 2006

Whisky Fuelled Jazz

Last night at Cargo in Shoreditch saw Gilles Peterson presenting his monthly Independent Mix session. Saxophonist Chris Bowden headlined with his band and string quartet.
We lingered at the bar area to hear Roger Robinson’s unique brand of contemporary rap stylings and went for beer despite the freebie Glenfiddich on offer.
After a short DJ set by Gilles in a heavy jazz dance fashion which warmed the crowd up Chris Bowden appeared with his band, after a long drag on his cigarette he launched into the first number in his hour long set. Chris is criminally overlooked and his playing deserves much more respect and recognition, he is probably most known for his work with The Herbaliser.
I have seen him play to near empty rooms and still maintain huge enthusiasm for the music. On this particular night he was rewarded with a responsive and respectful audience. Switching between a couple of standards, some older tunes including some from his 1994 album for Soul Jazz records including ‘Telescopic’ which he has reworked for his new project The Heritage Orchestra. A quartet of strings for the night played with his band under the name The Heritage String Quartet and this gave a taste of things to come for his work with the Orchestra.
His hour long set passed in a blur and I could have continued listening for another hour and the audience, from the headnodders at the back to the jazz dancing kids at the front near the stage, warmed to his versatile and honest playing. The band played tight and the string quartet provided a great compliment by grinning and beaming with smiles as they played along, one of the musicians looked like he couldn’t believe his luck that he landed such a job as this.

The Heritage Orchestra will release the debut album on Gilles Peterson’s new label Brownswood on the 14th August. You will also be able to see them live with Deodato at the Hackney Empire on 21 July with Gilles and Kirk Degiorgio on DJ duty.

By the way, to the scumbags who nicked something out of my girlfriends bike bag whilst we helped the lady whose bike had been dismantled by some other scumbags. Well, I dont think I need to tell you what I think of you, just hope it goes on the 'karma list'.


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