Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Entropi + Sloth Racket Kings Place London 13/3/19


Free = liberated from social, historical, psychological dogma and musical constraints. Jazz = improvised, syncopated music for mind, body and soul.

A double bill of what I would call, free jazz and left field jazz (Sloth Racket & Entropi) sounded intriguing, especially as I had not checked out the Lume collective that has these bands under it's captivating umbrella.Up first was Sloth Racket featuring bandleader Cath Roberts (baritone saxophone, compositions), Sam Andreae (alto/tenor saxophone), Anton Hunter (guitar), Seth Bennett (bass) and Johnny Hunter (drums).

They present a challenging sound which is somewhere in between confrontational and unnerving to begin with,then as if by magic, within the chaos you begin to hear the rather beautiful layers revealing themselves and it starts to make sense once your jarring brain begins the first steps to acceptance. These are sophisticated compositions that allow freedom of expression from these fine musicians.Seth Bennet attacks his bass like King Kong tearing up the skyscrapers of NYC.The sheer physicality he emits is rather absorbing,he's a real lynchpin of the band whose interwoven lines are somehow complex, loose, and great fun, all at once.Anton Hunter creates great soundscapes too, shards of ambience and craziness especially when he uses a metal slide to strum with! The two saxes work extremely well together and Sam Andreae gets some fine harmonics out of his instrument.Sloth Racket are bold,brassy and brash,their playing is playful yet engrossing with superb group improvisatory skills.

The bar is incredibly high now. And Dee Byrne and her band Entropi clear it with ease.Right from the off this was a confident self assured sound from this startling quintet with definate shades of ECM.Byrne is somewhat of a creative genius challenging herself constantly with ideas and her alto sax playing and compositions are incredibly good with every element feeling exactly right.Stand out track of the evening 'We are Experiencing Turbulence' was utterly superb peppered with spontaneous improvisation of a very high calibre stunning in breadth, capable of both uplifting and befuddling the listener in equal parts and conversely, melodically archaic and affecting.The Trumpet of Andre Canniere is the perfect foil to Byrne's urgent outpourings and out-leaning tendencies - his sound soothes the listener and adds another riveting dynamic to the interplay.Drummer Matt Fisher resists the pitter patter technique of free jazz and plays in a more muscular high powered and foreboding style which gives the tunes weight which leaves bassist Ollie Brice to drift off into melodic transit.And let's not forget the exquisite grand piano playing of Rebecca Nash giving the band a classic jazz quintet edge.This was an evening of stellar jazz and performances that should appeal to mainstream and avant-garde fans alike.These two female trailblazers turned the ace arts space,Kings Place into Queens Place making a cerebral, mysterious, and transcendent evening out of it.
Words Emrys Baird

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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