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Review: 'Near Jazz Experience, The'
'Live at Pizza Express Live, Holborn'   

-  Genre: 'Soul' -  Release Date: '8.10.21.'

Our Rating:
How sophisticated do we feel going out for some supper club Near Jazz in the rather swanky basement that is Pizza Express Live in Holborn, an area of London that was at the epicentre of the Skiffle boom, as this club is less than a 100 yards from The Princess Louise one of London's Key Skiffle and folk, blues venues and around the corner from the equally important Conway Hall that I'm sure I've seen Terry Edwards perform at a Resonance FM benefit or two at the turn of the millennium.

We arrived early enough to have eaten our pizza's before The Near Jazz Experience came on and were sipping on our Sartori(al) Pinot Grigio when Terry Edwards, Simon Charterton and Mark Bedford sauntered onto the stage of this crescent shaped stage and opened things up by paying tribute to all the knives still being used as they played the bands early single The Knife with Terry on Alto Sax blasting away any live cobwebs as Mark's super slinky bass found it's groove.

Terry then switched to his Melodica for the very Augustus Pablo feeling East Of Kingsway that had a great floaty dub sound enhanced by Simon's nicely restrained drumming. The Eastern feel remained along with a whiff of Chanel about the perfumed elegance of there re-working of 5 Years as Terry played some majestic Melodica it was the only song of this instrumental set that had me singing along to it.

Terry then clipped on both his Alto and Tenor Saxophones for Up Across Southampton Row that has a sophisticated blaxploitation feel with the drums skittering across the room with some nice effects from his Korg drum pad.

Terry stripped back to just his Alto Sax for a Coda For Trane that had a quite modal feel to it as well as an imperious bassline from Mark. Simon took the lead next with some intense Korgnastics that had Terry switching between his alto sax and some Muted Cornet, that had to be the signal for our Ice cream to arrive, for a Raspberry Sorbet fandango for Chocolate Fudge or if you prefer a little bit of Songo the perfect accompaniment.

Then they were taking us on a trip to Funky Town deep in the heart of Midtown a designation no real Londoner would ever use for this location, no matter what any signs might say, as that Tenor Sax really brought home the funk.

Terry then picked up his clarinet as they celebrated being On The Corner of High Holborn and Proctor street in as cool a way as they could while threatening to have a Clarinetto for two to conclude the first set.

The second set opened with them paying tribute to the bands spiritual home of Indo the spit and saw Pizza pub in Whitechapel that used to be home for the band before it closed down, to get that Indo feel right Terry played Tenor Sax, Egg Shaker and mute Cornet up against some sweet percussion and sinuous bass that worked well in the bands more uptown setting.

Terry then switched to his Clarinet that he seemed to be playing at a third of the speed he had before the break as they sought to Slow Clarry Down, we needn't have worried he was running out of puff as they were soon Strutting On Proctor like they had just had an up-close encounter or was it an Altocation with Cissy.

They brought us some brilliantly Funky Bop with a brilliant Tenor Sax and Egg Shaker solo as Terry played them together. Simon's Cymbals really led and were the star part of Afloat as Terry's Mute Cornet decorated what was going on in the percussion and Mark's ever solid bass anchor, after this selection Terry implored anyone who didn't already own a copy to go and buy one afterwards at the merch stall.

Mark then led us all into some rather tasty Bass Custard as Terry deftly switched between Alto and Tenor sax with some Egg Shaker for that added magic that then led into a wonderful Blue Thang Voodoo Chile as Terry played melodica and Alto Sax as it built in intensity and the trio had one last furious climax to close a very cool evenings music. Ah finally the Supper club Near Jazz Experience have arrived and the only thing left to happen was for everyone to pay their bill, yes a concert where everyone has a tab for the evening.

  author: simonovitch

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