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Rosie Turton Septet at Total Refreshment Centre (2020 EFG LJF)

Rosie Turton Septet (Total Refreshment Centre . Streamed on 21 November 2020. EFG London Jazz Festival. Review by Mary James)

Rosie Turton Septet. Screenshot

This was a daytime gig and the natural light at Total Refreshment Centre created a hazy dreamlike atmosphere to a beautifully shaped short set from Rosie Turton with her septet. There were no announcements and barely a pause between compositions as we were transported to a variety of tonal and spiritual landscapes, of which Indian was just one. The tempo was relaxed and the ambience thoughtful, and for once, not having applause to break the spell meant we could appreciate the soundscape as it moved seamlessly from relatively free to more upbeat, aided by washes of electronics from Matt Gordon. Trombones don’t have to necessarily sound mournful: Turton showed a captivating delicacy and nimbleness in her very memorable tunes, and she was enjoyably supported by a rhythm section of Twm Dylan on bass, Pilo Adami on percussion and Olly Sarkar on drums, and some Glasper-intoned piano from Maria Chiara Argirò. In a set where the band often grooved, it was impossible not to be distracted by Johanna Burnheart on violin whose performance was at times show-stealing. Burnheart’s dissertation at the Guildhall was on Zbigniew Seifert and she shares his intense haunting emotion, her use of electronics was mesmerising. All credit to Turton that the two lead instruments, trombone and violin, shared almost equal prominence and worked very well together. The final piece started like the beginning of the set with abstract billows of shimmering sound and effects. At the end of the gig, the band stood still, rapt, perhaps unwilling to leave the experience. The video was made by Three Shades Creative and their skill at narrative added to the enjoyment of this gig. And the band was dressed, probably coincidentally, in shades of charcoal and sea green, which added to the visual experience and sense of effortless coherence that the music displayed. There are a few unexpected delights in online gigs, one being having the perspective of a fly, and another  the discovery that Rosie has her name engraved on her trombone.

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