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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.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Tom Rivière Family Band @ TESTT Space, Durham - July 11

Kim Macari (trumpet), Riley Stone-Lonergan (tenor saxophone), Tom Rivière (double bass) & Steve Hanley (drums)
(Review by Russell)
The Empty Shop’s satellite venue on North Road, Durham is a temporary affair as the bus station building is to be demolished in another major redevelopment in the city. Visual artists are tenants alongside other ‘creatives’ until such time as they’re given notice to quit. A makeshift performance space on the second floor (no stage, blacked-out windows) with a bottle bar and a warm welcome from Durham Brass Festival/Empty Shop staff, this the venue for Cutting Edge Brass.

Cutting Edge Brass presented Tom Rivière’s Family Band. The ‘cutting edge’ refers to the ‘new’, to the ‘contemporary’, to the ‘innovative’ or so it would seem. Do labels such as ‘cutting edge’ attract? Do they deter? Remove the label and what have we got? A quartet comprising of Leeds College of Music alumni, the musicians no longer live in one another’s student pockets, living miles apart and meeting up for rehearsals and gigs – gigs such as this Durham date. The late Ornette Coleman is a stated influence on the band, and, to the ears of your correspondent, John Coltrane equally so.

Tenor saxophonist Riley Stone-Lonergan’s big frame generates a big sound, and frontline partner, by comparison the physically diminutive trumpeter Kim Macari, plays fearlessly, not giving an inch. The guys in the shadows – bassist Tom Rivière and drummer Steve Hanley – make it possible for the horns to do their thing. A Stone-Lonergan original for openers, Macari’s Rashtam and Scorpi (a tale of a pet scorpion!) to follow, the Family Band was in the zone. Time and again RSL took a first solo, Macari replying. The in-the-pocket playing of Rivière and Hanley would have secured them a slew of gigs on the 1960s New York free jazz scene had they been around; metronomic, swinging, frequent change in tempi, all taken in their stride. Drummer Hanley is a composer; the quartet took a look at one of his new tunes – Mind Hoover. Hanley is a supremely talented musician/composer, Rivière, nominally the leader of the Family Band, as assured a performer as you’re likely to hear.

At some gigs you can sense you’re at the heart of it, you can hear it. The numbers preceding, the numbers following, this, the ‘in-the-moment’, is it. Impressions was the moment. Glorious playing, the reason one goes to a gig, file under ‘memorable moments’.             

TESTT Space will, perhaps, be gone this time next year when Durham Brass Festival is once more in full swing, but Durham’s Empty Shop is sure to find itself another quirky pop-up venue which will contribute to this big, bold, brasstastic event, Durham Brass Festival.

Russell.        

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