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Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Kanani Quartet Royal Albert Hall Café. October 4

Kourosh Kanani (gtr); Jeremie Coullon (gtr); Eleazar Spreafico (bs).
(Review by Peter Ninnim). 
Our autumn trip to London this year was primarily to see Manon at the Royal Ballet but no trip to London would be complete without  a good helping of jazz. Internet searches revealed that the Café at the Albert Hall had several jazz events at weekends, all of which were free.
Expecting nothing (free concert?) we arrived early and listened in awe to the warm up and then after a short gap to the actual performance.
The band bills themselves as Gypsy Jazz but they are so much more. Genuine Gypsy jazz certainly but with lots of other influences.
The first  set opened with the Louis Armstrong tune Struttin’ With Some Barbeque which set the tone of mind blowing virtuosity. They followed this with What is This Thing Called Love and then a fast 3/4 piece the name of which escaped me. Other wonderful music followed; Caravan; Autumn Leaves, taken at speed; and  Django Reinhardt’s Micro, with Les Paul influences I thought, which concluded the first set.
This allowed the diners in this upmarket Italian cafe to get their breath back. The large venue was pretty full but because of the nature of the place the crowd revolved but were very appreciative. What a great way to perform jazz; 12.00 to 1.45 pm on a Saturday lunch time and no charge to the audience!
The second shorter set kicked off with All the Things You Are and wound its way through various Jazz standards and several Gypsy influenced items and finished with a sparkling version of Charlie Parker’s Donna Lee.
The Quartet, reduced to three on the day, have a lead guitarist on amplified  acoustic guitar who is the best player that I have ever seen on that instrument. I had never expected to see anyone produce more guitar entertainment than Clive Carroll but Kourosh Kanani is amazing. His Turkish and Irish ancestry must be an influence. The second guitarist is Jeremie Coullon and he also was impressive both on Lead and rhythm roles. Bass player Eleazar Spreafico is excellent; all fingers of both hands all over the neck of the instrument; and a joy to watch a bass player who can play four in a bar at speed and not struggle.
Normally I do not find bands without drums very interesting but the trio swung from the first note and never stopped.
An unforgettable experience. It would be great to see them in the North.
Peter N.

1 comment :

The LondonJazz site said...

Kourosh Kanani is a rising star indeed. We interviewed him HERE

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