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Friday, April 03, 2020

Download Review: Trish Clowes' My Iris Quartet - Liive

(Review by Chris K) 

Another unexpected by-product of lockdown, a live release from last year’s tour by this fabulous quartet,  who should be touring currently. This is essentially the same set they played to an enthusiastic Sage 2 audience last May, reviewed here

Three of the six tracks appear on their second album, the 2019  Ninety Degrees Gravity, but the live version makes up for anything it lacks in sound detail with energy and immediacy, spurred on by an appreciative Irish audience.  

My Iris is a truly virtuoso band, with chameleon variety of tenor voice, but technique is secondary to the freshly inventive but authentic composition,  and the sheer joy evident in the band’s ensemble playing.  While the subtlety, detail and intelligence of the music are up there with the best of cerebral “chamber jazz”, the intensity of all four individual players places them in far more exciting, accessible and visceral space.   

The injection of clever, powerful grooves from Maddren is taken to climactic levels by all three other players who can each “veer from velvet to violence” - although not quite as far as Montague’s previous guitar forays with the likes of Shobaleader One! 
Dubbing them the new “British Weather Report” is a simplification and may be an understatement. Highly recommended and a joy to listen to throughout, recalling a great gig last year. 

Trish Clowes (tenor sax/voice/composer)
Chris Montague (guitar)
Ross Stanley (piano/keys) 
James Maddren (drums).

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