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In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

Today

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.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Sloth Racket @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle - September 1

Cath Roberts (baritone sax); Sam Andreae (alto sax); Anton Hunter (guitar); Seth Bennett (bass); Johnny Hunter (drums)
(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).

After two successive Sunday nights of quality straight ahead jazz it was good to get back to a performance that would warm the cockles of the free jazz fan's heart.

Sloth Racket were created in 2015 at the behest of Jazz North East who asked Cath Roberts to form a band to perform at the GIJF of that year. It proved to be such a successful collaboration that the quintet has continued to play together. Their current national tour began on Sunday night at the Bridge the purpose of which is to launch their fourth album Dismantle Yourself.

The band, not all living in the same part of country, must find rehearsing together logistically difficult but if they were under rehearsed it certainly didn’t show. In fact maybe it was the freshness of performing together again which contributed to such an exhilarating and thoroughly entertaining performance.

All five musicians went for it from the off, there are no distinct individual solos yet every so often a particular performer’s efforts seems to jump out of the musical kaleidoscope and captivate the listener. Such is the collective feel of the performance there is no need to single out any musician over another although band leader and composer Roberts has to be congratulated on producing such a fine contemporary modern outfit.

The music itself is dynamic invigorating sometimes fast and furious and at other times reflective and peaceful. Hooks and motifs appear all over place catching one unawares lifting the listener out of any complacency they may have settled in to.  Having seen this band before I knew roughly what to expect but I enjoyed this gig more than on previous occasions which is obviously a very good sign.  

At the bar during the interval local bass supremo John Pope summed the gig up perfectly ‘stonking’ he said I couldn’t have put it better myself.
Steve H.
Photos.

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