Being the first Tuesday of the month, the Basement Jazz Sessions returned to Brooks Bar in Shepherd’s Bush, West London, with the host act, WTF joined by the Robert Mitchell Trio
Head-bopping psychedelic jazz funk began the evening of live music, with WTF playing three compositions penned by band members. ‘Awkward Thing’ was the pick of them, featuring excellent drumming from Philippe Castermane, the flute and sax solos could have had more oomph, not matching the drive of the beats. ‘Wheel within a Wheel’ followed, one of my all time favourite compositions. WTF’s version had an appealing keyboard solo but overall fell short compared to recent masterful renditions of the same tune, missing the harmonic energy of Soil & Pimp Sessions effort, or the gentle beauty in the Cinematic Orchestra’s take. The quality of the riff saw it through, though I would have liked fewer sliding guitar sounds and more bellowing horns.
Another WTF composition ‘Up-Funk’ thumped along with a fine bassline, similar to The Jam’s ‘Start’, Ed Dibble’s flute became more prominent, however as with the earlier solos I felt it was too restrained, proficient playing but not showing the impromptu wildness that makes the good soloists great. ‘Town Hustle’ WTF’s final track was much funkier and got the seated crowd moving with its lovely groove. Compliments to the rhythm section!
Magnificent interplay between Spaven & Mitchell, two brilliant contemporary UK musicans
After a short interval the Robert Mitchell (RM) trio began with RM on keyboard, Richard Spaven drumming and Tom Mason plucking or bowing his double bass. Magnificent interplay between Spaven and RM, real quality, then in slides Mason’s bass, ah ‘Footprints’! A terrific rendition of the Wayne Shorter track rearranged by RM. Quick or slow RM impresses with his marvellous playing. The venue is more suitable to a trio and they make use of this, filling the basement with the required energy. Spaven shows his rhythmic skill driving the set and considering his other involvements with Ty and Mark de Clive-Lowe’s Freesoul Sessions he is worthy of any accolades for his talents due to his consistently versatile brilliance.
Robert Mitchell continues his hectic tour schedule with many forthcoming London gigs with a Trio or with his Panacea project, he also has a new release on F-IRE with Omar Puente — Bridges. He is definitely an artist to experience live.
Basement Jazz Sessions will continue on the first Tuesday of each month with WTF being joined in 2007 by Tony Kofi, Jason Yarde, Underdog Ensemble (playing Charlie Mingus compositions), Tom Challenger’s (sax player of Heritage Orchestra) new band — Chemba and Shux, Lyric L, Kit Downes, and many more to be confirmed…
WTF line up
Flute — Ed Dibble
Alto Sax — Joel Reeves
Trombone/Guitar — Andy Thorpe
Keys — Kevin Webster
Electric Bass — Olli Kamarainen
Drums — Philippe Castermane
The Funkstrut (J. Reeves)
All the Right Things (E. Dibble)
Move On (E. Dibble)
Wheel within a Wheel (R. Watson)
Up-Funk (E. Dibble)
Town Hustle (E. Dibble)
RM 3io, tracks –
The Thief of Dimensions (R.Mitchell)
Footprints Wayne Shorter (arranged over a groove from Witness 2:A Blues Future by R.Mitchell)
Stella by Starlight (V.Young & N.Washington)
The Brink (R.Mitchell)