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Mario Bakuna and Uccio Gaeta, The Lion & Lamb, Hoxton, London

There was certainly in the afternoon a pleasant jazz club atmosphere in the Lion and Lamb pub not far from where Charlie Wright's used to be in Hoxton. Punters took a while to turn up. But the place was pretty well-populated after a while and the …

Published: 6 Jun 2021. Updated: 17 days.

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There was certainly in the afternoon a pleasant jazz club atmosphere in the Lion and Lamb pub not far from where Charlie Wright's used to be in Hoxton.

Punters took a while to turn up. But the place was pretty well-populated after a while and the well travelled Brazilian guitarist-singer Mario Bakuna and drummer Uccio Gaeta were in no hurry. They could read the room.

Bakuna, whose style and connoisseur-level Brazilian Landscapes has just been released is influenced, he mentioned to marlbank later, by João Bosco whose 'Prêt-à-porter de tafetá' is included on Bakuna's album.

Highlights of the first set included Jobim's 'A Felicidade' with Bahia and MPB (música popular brasileira) the order of the day. Bakuna's tour de force is his ''voice trumpet'' in the mould a little of Raul Midón.

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Catch up with the Brazilian as soon as you can. You won't be disappointed. What a sound.

Mario Bakuna, top. The Lion & Lamb, above. Photos: marlbank

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Vince Mendoza, Freedom Over Everything *****

You could make a strong case for Vince Mendoza being one of the greatest exponents of the art of jazz arranging in a big band or orchestral setting over the last 40 years. Freedom Over Everything is the latest evidence, a collaboration with the …

Published: 6 Jun 2021. Updated: 18 days.

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You could make a strong case for Vince Mendoza being one of the greatest exponents of the art of jazz arranging in a big band or orchestral setting over the last 40 years. Freedom Over Everything is the latest evidence, a collaboration with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Julia Bullock, Joshua Redman, Antonio Sánchez, Derrick Hodge and The Roots' Black Thought, the album opens with Mendoza’s 5-movement 'Concerto for Orchestra'. Its 5th movement 'Justice and the Blues' draws on the wisdom of Dr Cornel West: “Justice is what Love looks like in public” and "The Blues responds to the catastrophic with compassion, without drinking from the cup of bitterness''. Mendoza has nothing to prove but that doesn't stop Freedom Over Everything making a very significant statement that stands tall with anything he has ever done down the decades. Moving at times the work functions in a space of its own, melting genre, and in so doing discovers a serenity in how the instrumentalists are able to sound individual and really mean something within the intricate design of Mendoza's harmonic and rhythmical cosmos. On Modern