Thursday, 7 February 2013

Roller Trio: Jazz at King’s Place, London

In London for the weekend and the choice of live music is dazzling. I am looking for high quality contemporary British jazz in a central venue with excellent sound.  I find it all at   King's Place  a superb arts centre next to The Guardian building 5 minutes up the road from King’s Cross station. There are 2 halls in this building and I saw Hall 2, a black box which offers a flexible space for multi media events. On 2 February the stage was taken by  Roller Trio  recently recognized in the UK’s Mercury Prize: James Mainwaring, sax & effects, Luke Wynter, guitar & effects and Luke Reddin-Williams on drums. This trio without a bass have a guitarist who doubles with bass lines, using effects to give a convincing bass sound. The drummer is a power house with a brain, loads of energy with lots of sensitivity to match the brawn. The sax player is tough and aggressive, pushing the music on in irregular time signatures and uneven phrases, he plays virtuoso solos with power even in the highest registers and a breadth of imagination to match.
I did not catch the titles of the tunes in this set but several numbers stayed in my mind even the next day. Among them one which starts with a 5 finger exercise pattern in sax which is passed over to guitar before going into solos. Another number starts with a riff which repeats so many times the joke is you think maybe the fx has got stuck in the works. Funky grooves are a signature of this band and their energy level is able to maintain the interest through ample repetition of few-note motifs.
So much action makes the appearance of the occasional lyrical passages very poignant and left me wanting to hear more from this band who formed at Leeds College of Music.
This gig is one of a series at The Base at King´s Place, great music and best value in town, at 9.50 if booked on-line.
Thanks Roller Trio for a rollercoaster of emotions, a great set.

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