Our Friday columnist JACK DAVIES reports from a rehearsal for the Troyk-estra gig at Ronnie Scott’s on Monday March 12th…
The “Jazzwise to the Power of 15” festival, which will mark the fifteenth anniversary of the publication is bringing a very exciting new collaboration to Ronnie Scott’s on March 12th.
Electric trio Troyka (Chris Montague – guitar, Kit Downes – organ. Josh Blackmore – drums) are teaming up with Nick Smart and the Royal Academy of Music Big Band to form “Troyk-estra” – a powerhouse expansion of the small band.
I sat in the back of the first rehearsal at the Royal Academy on Wednesday, and the music sounded incredible – even without Kit Downes on organ, and with the band seeing the music for the first time.
You can expect the trio to be featured soloists, but augmented by the tight brass and reeds (and unusually groovy bass-trombone playing) of the Academy band. From what I heard, the arrangements maintain the sound and small-group feel of the trio, and the big band feels like a logical add-on, rather than a cumbersome impediment.
Troyka met and formed whilst students at the Royal Academy, and the atmosphere in the big band isn’t a stuffy, stifled college read-through, but rather a group of friends playing music they genuinely care about.
Troyka have arranged their own music for big band themselves, and hopefully this will not just be a one-off gig, but rather the debut for another of the capital’s great young big bands.