Jazzmoss, St. James Wine Vaults, Bath

“If you love Jazz, you’ll love Jazzmoss” went the strapline in the flyer and the line up certainly promised much. I’ll confess to not having heard of the duo whose project this is (keyboard player Kaz Kasozi  and singer Louisa Le Marchand), but the line up included Henry Lowther, Art Themen and Trevor Tomkins all stalwarts of the British jazz scene and great players.

This being a blog rather an article or review I feel I can be a bit more reflective (and straight forward?). I didn’t enjoy this gig very much. There was a very weird half an hour when people I spoke to were all asking each other very open questions like “… is this the regular singer?..” and “.. what do you think?..” and then a sense of relief with the realisation that a lot of people were thinking the gig would improve immeasurably if Louisa stopped singing and let the band have a bit of a blow.  She may ordinarily be outstanding, but on this occasion the performance was not compelling to listen to (a rather thin whiney tone) or watch (she appeared to be reading every line from the folder in front of her).

I did enjoy Henry Lowther’s playing on the lightly world music flavoured, jazz inflected folk rock compositions; glorious, plaintive lines with just a hint of Hugh Masekela – like joyful flourishes.

So the band salvaged what could have been a bit of disaster – just. Don’t go if you think you are going to get a roaring jazz set; give it a go if you think you’ll enjoy a that worldy/ african/ folk/ jazzy sound – and Louisa has upped her game a bit.

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