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Preview: Terryazoome Album Launch, Forge, Sat 13th Oct,

Preview: Terryazoome CD Launch
(The Forge, Camden, Sat. 13th Oct. 2012. Preview by Alison Bentley)

‘Greek-flavoured jazz..a mezze of music…’ – bouzouki-player, guitarist and composer Terry Hunt describes her music.

She’s half-Greek, and brings together her musical heritage and lifelong love of jazz, Latin and African traditions. Her influences are diverse: she grew up in Nigeria, in a town with 80 nationalities, listening to everything from the flutes of Tuareg camel traders to the Greek and Brazilian songs her mother sang at home. This gig is the launch of her CD Xana (WMP0112CD) from her long-term band Terryazoome (a play on words where Terry’s name becomes part of the Greek word for ‘well-matched’).

She’s written the tunes and lyrics and there’s a wonderful variety of moods. Most have Greek rhythms- at least five are in 7/8 and one is a traditional Greek dance: a 9/8 Zeibekiko. They make total sense when you dance- that perfectly-placed hop over the extra beat. Some express a mischievous love of life; some a sense of yearning.

The pieces are carefully arranged, with lots of space for solos. Saxophonist Diane McLoughlin is the ideal choice, with her background in jazz and Balkan music (her own big band Giant Steppes fused the two). At times her sweet soprano sounds like Jan Gabarek playing oriental scales; at other times she recalls Basil Coetzee with deeper, throatier sounds over a South African Township feel.

Athens-born, UK-based Angelos Georgakis improvises in the bouzouki tradition, with fiery triplets and trills which contrast with McLoughlin’s cooler tones. When they improvise together it’s very beautiful.

Hunt loves Weather Report, and Herbie Hancock’s music, and there’s something of that in the composition as well as in Alison Rayner’sfine bass playing. Winston Clifford’s drumming brings an afro-jazz sensibility to the grooves. You’ve probably heard Rayner with Deidre Cartright, and Clifford with Jonathan Gee, among many others. Both are clearly having a lot of fun playing these tricky rhythms.

Lorraine Jordan (joined on the CD by Cypriot vocalist Keti Tanou) sings beautifully in English and Greek like a Delphic prophetess. I predict exuberance, and (who knows?) dancing- this is music to lift the spirits. Can’t wait.

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