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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

CUSP @ The Cluny. May 28, 2013

Chris Bridges (trombone), Keith Phillips (guitar), Dave Tompkins (double bass) & Hugh Lawrence (drums)
(Review by Russell).
The quartet CUSP are the duo String and Bone - Chris Bridges, trombone, and Keith Phillips guitar - augmented by the bass and drums pairing of Dave Tompkins and Hugh Lawrence. The band's debut CD all there is has stirred sufficient interest to make it worthwhile taking it on the road. The Cluny featured on the itinerary. 
The low attendance could, perhaps, be explained away by reference to the half term holiday, the close proximity to the Evolution Festival staged over the long bank holiday weekend, the 'summer' weather, a crowded north east jazz calendar or the inescapable fact that CUSP aren't household names. A combination of factors seems most likely in explaining the disappointing turn out. 
Keith Phillips is an exponent of seventies-style fusion guitar playing. The guitarist's tune Metanoia exemplified his approach; assured pyrotechnics, lyricism intact. Frontline partner Chris Bridges has wide ranging credits on the free scene including Evan Parker and Paul Dunmall. One observer at the Jazz North East Schmazz gig suggested the big 'bone blasts were out of Hannabiell Sanders' book. True, there was a similarity, also think Gary Valente and you'll get an idea of where Bridges is at. 
The Cake Lie (good guitar/drums exchange), In Dent, Wave Machine and Scragg were culled from the CD all there is and an older tune - Route 49 - gave every indication that CUSP will continue to develop and it would be good to hear them again. Dave Tompkins' bass playing was fine although he was over-amplified on the evening and drummer Hugh Lawrence's busy style powered the band across two sets. 
Russell.

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