Preview: Kit Downes Quintet at Kings Place. Saturday 21 September 2013 – 8:00pm

Preview: Kit Downes Quintet
(King Place. 21st September. Preview by Sarah Gillespie)

After asking Kit Downes to join my band for what was supposed to be a one off gig at Brecon Jazz Festival in 2012, I decided to kidnap him and schlep him up and down the country indefinitely. Not only do I adore the way his phrasing hypnotically spins off into wonky bluesy corners, Kit also likes cheese a lot, which was an important factor in our touring compatibility criteria.

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‘Light from Old Stars’ is Kit’s quintet project where earthy blues collides with celestial grandeur via an awestruck stargazer. Having stood in a pitch black car park in Devon at 1am with Ben Bastin and Kit jumping around pointing out star constellations, I can vouch for the infectious delight of a composer bewitched by the beauty of something that is no longer there. So this music is rich with a kind of spooky majesty and modest reverence.

I am addicted to the tune Outlawed (see video above) with its dark, contained drama and glimmering clarinet lines and, if I were not playing in Whitstable on Saturday, I would be in Kings Place listening to Kit’s band and happily dwelling on the glory of great music and old light. If you’re in London, get yourselves a ticket.

  Kit Downes Quintet:

Kit Downes: Piano
Calum Gourlay: Bass
James Maddren: Drums
Lucy Railton: Cello
James Allsopp: Bass Clarinet

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