‘I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free’ and more from Bammi Rose and Adrian Reid
Jools Holland Rhythm and Blues Orchestra saxophonist/flautist, a founder member of legendary 1970s street funk Afrojazz pioneers Cymande Mike “Bammi” Rose, joined by Cymande pianist Adrian Reid on Nord keyboards continued their regular residency in the congenial and relaxed surroundings of the House of Tippler on London’s Lordship Lane in East Dulwich as World Cup fever began to grip the capital.
Performing after the Portugal v Spain game (a Portuguese supporter at the bar who had watched the match on television compared Ronaldo understandably to Eusébio) Bammi, you might remember hearing him for instance on Charlie Parker’s ‘Barbados’ from Jazz Jamaica’s excellent 1990s album Skaravan got into his stride when he switched from flute to tenor as the pair performed with a backing rhythm that introduced a light Caribbean twist on such early set numbers as Dave Brubeck’s ‘Take Five’ and Billy Taylor’s joyous ‘I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free’ and then with more of a carnival feel the classic ‘St Thomas’ synonymous with Sonny Rollins. Reid’s own album Nyanza Street I enjoyed a few years ago and it was somehow fitting even if completely by chance to hear the pianist south of the river. Photo + text: marlbank. Mike Bammi Rose above left and Adrian Reid at the House of Tippler.
On a Friday
Unveiled for the first time live in front of a receptive crowd at 229 The Venue last weekend the beguiling ‘On A Friday’ from indie four-piece DropPink, who played a blinder.
Hawk soars high over the free-jazz junction
Involving, intuitively delivered adventurous listening tumbling out here from the saltily fracturing, wired-up constantly surprising sound of the Chicago Underground, the longstanding duo of Rob Mazurek (cornet, sampler, electronics and voice) and Chad Taylor (drums, mbira and electronics) meeting down the tube, actually up the Junction at Cafe Oto in east London, in a take-no-prisoners improv meltdown in the company of pianist Alexander Hawkins and double bassist John Edwards.
Free-jazz Jim but not as we know it? Not at all. It is free – emphasis, suffix-is-to-say, on the -dom – jazz, Hawkins like Sun Ra on steroids, Edwards letting his fingers practically bleed, but then again how does anyone ever know just what free-jazz is if that term is even worthwhile any more now that Ornette and Paul Bley are gone, only Cecil Taylor left from the first protean era (spanning the years between Jazz Advance and Science Fiction), and it only stands for a period in time, as a phrase it is only as durable now no matter how dog-eared as a headline or more valuably a caption and to save wasting our time on too many words. Answers not really needed at all on a postcard because Mazurek quoted on the issuing label Cuneiform’s marketing spiel provides a few clues and a better description especially applicable to these treacherous times: “The world has become so homogenised and leans so far towards the right, and this music expresses complete freedom and lack of borders. Our music is all about the obliteration of any kind of oppression, the tearing down of any kind of wall – freedom and equality, both sonically and spiritually.” As for his thoughts on playing with the Mulatu 2: “They could go anywhere, so it was just a matter of being in the moment and letting the instincts roll. A Night Walking Through Mirrors, out now, listen, above, to a stream RECOMMENDED
Indie jazz labels
Babel Current artist releases include Free #3 by Black Top.