The J-Word, the new project that dares not speak jazz's name for fear of dissuading potential new listeners, may have to rebrand itself as The J-World.
Because just as jazz has come to encompass an ever broader range of music as it has spread internationally over its 100 years or so of history, so the music on offer on this second J-Word tour presents a similarly global reach.
Opening duo Fraser Fifield and Graeme Stephen's set travelled from the Celtic countries, with Fifield's super-fluent and expressive low whistle playing borne on Stephen's keenly inventive guitar rhythms, to suggestions of the cafes of Andalusia and gypsy weddings of eastern Europe and back via ruggedly riffing pipes and guitar, all the while retaining the spontaneity of the jazz ethos.
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Percussionist Trilok Gurtu, trumpeter Paolo Fresu and pianist Omar Sosa represent three different continents and look to the heart of jazz, in the shape of Miles Davis, as well as bringing their separate cultures together to create fun and virtuosic adventure. Duelling mouth music, with Sosa eventually answering Gurtu's Indian phrases with face percussion, and a beyond-effervescent Indo-Cuban tabla-piano conversation sandwiched a beautifully articulated ballad with a hint of Fresu's Mediterranean origins (and boasting an extraordinary long flugelhorn note) in a set that also featured the most grooving, musical use of a pail handle and drum beater and a Mumbai blues.
Even as they reconfigured Gurtu's irresistible dancing Balahto, from his percussion and string quartet repertoire, and encored with verve, however, there was a feeling that this trio has still more in the tank. Serious sparks could yet fly on the tour's remaining dates.
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