(Vortex, Monday 15th November, Review by Chris Parker, photo credit: Richard Kaby)
Another London Jazz Festival night, another jam-packed house.
Pianist/keyboard player Bojan Z last brought this trio to the Vortex a couple of years back (14th July 2008, to be precise), and produced ‘an absorbing, pleasingly cluttered sound that both bristled with vitality (keyboards and drums striking sparks off each other over Ruth Goller ‘s selfless bass) and, despite relatively tricksy time signatures, packed a viscerally funky punch, while simultaneously accommodating the most florid of runs or the sturdiest of basic riffs from Zulfikarpasic’.
They performed in a strikingly similar fashion on this occasion, although Goller was perhaps more prominent, louder and more assertive, alternating as required between a steady anchoring role and a strident eloquence, particularly effective in her bouts of interplay with the protean Seb Rochford, who must be one of the most resourceful and adaptable drummers working today.
It was Bojan Z, however, who set each piece’s tone, selecting the precise keyboard texture and timbre (from 1970s-Milesian squirting howl to clattering Fender Rhodes and even relatively straightforward fleet acoustic runs) for material that ranged from powerful originals with the aforementioned tricksy time signatures but none the less driving rhythms to pleasantly nervy funk and the odd nod to inspirations such as Ornette Coleman (a searing, tumbling visit to ‘Women of the Veil’). After two vibrant, varied, punchy sets, the trio received an ovation enthusiastic enough to encourage them to perform an encore, a tribute all three richly deserved.