(Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho, January 27th 2010, Review by Peter Horsfall)
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Bassist Mike Janisch is bringing some big names to the Pizza Express club in Soho as part of his monthly residency in 2010. January saw Scottish drummer Alyn Cosker take to the stage, with NYC saxophonist Seamus Blake making a relatively rare appearance in London.
Promoting his new Record Lyn’s Une, Cosker seemed eager to impress from the off, with a set full of funk and ‘fusion’ influenced grooves featuring Janisch on electric bass (as well as double). Tunes like That’s The Ticket saw Blake taking every opportunity to shred magnificently over the propulsive groove of Cosker and guitarist David Dunsmuir. The music did however run the risk of being slightly one-dimensional and lacking dynamic contrast. One welcome, momentary change of pace occurred in the form of ballad Don’t Forget Me , in which Cosker’s seamless brush-work was all too brief.
Whilst lacking some of the cohesion and nuance which a regular working band would have brought to it, this set did prove a good showcase for Cosker’s power-house drumming, and for his straight-forward John Scofield-inspired writing, both of which were definite crowd pleasers.
The band was firing marvellously by the end of their short tour. Here's a review of their Birmingham gig: http://wp.me/piYaD-zM