Qualia 09-Jan-2016 - transientlife

For jazz fans young and old, seeing the tall, feline presence of Jasper Hoiby playing live is a special occasion for sure. For me, it had been two years and two months since I’d seen him play with Phronesis, when they recorded their last album over a weekend of gigs at The Cockpit during the 2013 London jazz week. For his new band, Jaspar has recruited some up-and-coming firepower from the young British jazz scene: Laura Jurd is a wonderful trumpet player who I’d recently seen leading with Dinosaur and Corrie Dick on drums, who plays for Qualia and Dinosaur (and others), who has released a fine debut album in his own name, and, with Jaspar on bass, powers the Qualia engine room. On sax, Jaspar has recruited experience in the shape of Mark Lockheart, who on Saturday let rip with some fine soloing; Mark also joins Jaspar and Liam Noble in a new trio Malija, whom I’ve yet to see play. (Man, the jazz scene is so fluid and incestuous that it would be fascinating to the web of influence and cross-fertilization between bands represented in the equivalent of the old Pete Frame rock family trees that used to be published in ZigZag magazine in the seventies). On piano for Qualia is Will Barry, a player I don’t know and as he was sitting in the dark pool in the piano corner of the stage meant that getting an angle and an exposure worthy of a shot worth publishing was nigh on impossible.
The Vortex was packed out Saturday: behind the scenes, the volunteers had the room arranged to accommodate 60 punters standing at the back and, of course, there wasn’t a spare seat to be had for love nor money. I hadn’t seen it this busy since Jah Wobble played a few years back. Given his great success with Phronesis, this is the Hoiby effect in action, but given the musical range of a quintet, the mix of experience and youth and the overall level of talent on display, this is a band to watch.
London Jazz News had a reviewer there, whom I got chatting to, and his review is here. Great night.

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