Preview: Robert Mitchell
(1: 9th of November at Charlie Wright’s; 2: With Panacea, 16th November at “Live to Europe” at Royal Festival Hall Clore Ballroom. Previews of both London Jazz Festival gigs by Alison Beck)
Alison Beck writes: There’s nothing run of the mill about a Robert Mitchell gig – and his two London Jazz Festival shows will be no exception.
I’ll start by laying my cards on the table: I’ve been a Robert Mitchell fan ever since I first saw him play at the Vortex a few years ago – when his hands were literally a blur as they swept up and down the piano during his incredibly inventive, exhilaratingly fast solos. And I’m not alone. Mike Butler has written in Metro:
“Robert Mitchell creates chamber jazz of astonishing beauty. … Mitchell is a lyricist and a thinker, and British jazz is far richer for his presence.”
With his band, Robert Mitchell’s Panacea, the British pianist, composer and bandleader has been exploring the interesting, edgy corners of jazz and soul music for the last decade. And it’s not only about blurry-handed dazzling speed and dexterity; Robert’s 2010 album The Cusp explores some very delicate, dreamy musical territory too.
Refreshingly, Robert isn’t scared of working with a vocalist (Deb Jordan) and he proves it by making her a truly integral part of the texture of album tracks like the Lucid Dreamt and Aura.
At their two London Jazz Festival gigs on Friday 9th at Charlie Wright’s and Friday 16th at the Royal Festival Hall’s Clore Ballroom for BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Line Up, the band will play music from The Cusp and other albums – and they’ll be airing some brand new material, which they’re looking forward to recording next year. Robert will also be previewing some pieces from a forthcoming solo album of piano music for left hand only.
The Panacea line-up features Robert Mitchell on piano and keys, Deb Jordan on vocals, Tom Mason on bass and Laurie Lowe on the drums. They’ve been together for more than 10 years, and Robert describes his band members as having “over a decade of synergy, and rare commitment”. He adds, “I’m very excited about the new stuff!”
Entry to the Royal Festival Hall Clore Ballroom concert is FREE . The concert will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and on radio stations across Europe, in a double bill with Iain Ballamy’s Anorak. www.robertmitchellmusic.com