Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Five Corners Quintet

Last night, I saw Helsinki's FCQ at Camden Town's Jazz Cafe. If you've got any sense, you'll look out for them too.

It's the first time in a long while that I've seen a band use such a classic formulation (the basic boppy backline with two horns) playing the same Straight Ahead Soul-Jazz - yet sounding like a fully contemporary dance act. This wasn't an attempt to marry up Jazz with modern dance music by the way - they were just timeless.

There was nothing retro about this lot. If the Something Else or Acid Jazz labels had known about this approach fifteen years ago, they could have saved us all a lot of frog-kissing. They used a double-bass, but it was tighter and more driving in the way you'd normally expect from the electrified variety. They even brought a (name unknown but v.g) vocalist on to make a cover of The Stylistics 'People Make the World Go Round.' Reverse-engineered Soul Jazz. Yet, for some reason, I kept thinking of Mingus. There was swing in there as well.

I couldn't remember (or pronounce) any of the musician's names, so Google's found this: it's a reasonable review. The trumpet player is clearly quite a prodigy (the bloke I went with talked about Freddie Hubbard a lot on the way out), but I thought the drummer was quite something. Visually, he summoned up every nightmare associated with the term 'Scandanavian Jazz'. But he was the polar opposite of the very lovely Tommy Chase - another Soul-Jazz revivalist. Where Tommy was tight, this man was untutored and instinctive.

Look out for the Five Corners Quintet. Suits from the Freemans Catalogue...

(Tom unwittingly helped me write this. Ta Tom.)

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