Preview: Empirical, Kings Place, London - tonight at 8

Back in April we were much struck by the pulsating 'Giants' from Empirical's EP Like Lambs, the London quartet's first new music in some three years. While it is true that the EP (or mini-album if you prefer) isn't the most satisfying of formats …

Published: 10 Jun 2022. Updated: 26 days.

Back in April we were much struck by the pulsating 'Giants' from Empirical's EP Like Lambs, the London quartet's first new music in some three years. While it is true that the EP (or mini-album if you prefer) isn't the most satisfying of formats given its brevity this release from the vibes and alto saxophone-flavoured adventurous acoustic hard bop quartet more than punched above its weight. Let's hope a full album is in the works for future release.

Certainly founder member drummer Shaney Forbes in particular who wrote three of the pieces on Like Lambs has been busy gigging in a lot in different bands separate to the main project. For instance one of the last times we heard him was as a member of sax icon Jean Toussaint's heavyweight JT4 in the autumn. The other founder member Nat Facey, probably the UK's greatest living jazz alto saxophonist, was also in fine form at the A Great Day in London concert in December and before that playing the music of Joe Harriott with the Nu Civilisation Orchestra last summer also in Kings Place, that time in the bigger room.

Tonight this top-class always sartorially elegant four-piece, completed by, out-of-Norwich, ''east angular'' vibist Lewis Wright and effortlessly virtuosic bassist Tom Farmer, launch the EP in Hall 2 of the King's Cross venue which is housed underneath The Guardian offices. Tickets. marlbank photo

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Tags: reviews

Preview - Pat Metheny Side-Eye, Sunday night at the Eventim Apollo

Last year's Pat Metheny live album Side-Eye NYC V1.IV was a return to form for the great Missourian like a re-set. The tender version of Metheny classic 'Bright Size Life' and the remarkable 'Lodger' led off by the ex-Vijay Iyer drummer Marcus …

Published: 10 Jun 2022. Updated: 26 days.

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Last year's Pat Metheny live album Side-Eye NYC V1.IV was a return to form for the great Missourian like a re-set. The tender version of Metheny classic 'Bright Size Life' and the remarkable 'Lodger' led off by the ex-Vijay Iyer drummer Marcus Gilmore chopping out a rhythm and then an incredible line from Metheny cutting the air and what develops especially the passage hard against James Francies' organ was sheer ecstasy bursting through. Metheny's best album since 2012's Unity Band this first Hammersmith appearance by the Side-Eye band on Sunday night in one of London's most-loved venues should be quite an occasion. Read an interview with James Francies. Tickets

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