Live reviews

Take 5 Presents: Misha Mullov Abbado, Charlotte Keeffe, Marcus Joseph (2022 EFG LJF)

Take 5 Presents: Misha Mullov Abbado, Charlotte Keeffe, Marcus Joseph,

(Purcell Room, 19 November 2022, Review by Peter Slavid)

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Misha Mullov-Abbado. Photo copyright John Watson/

Take Five is a programme produced by Serious with the support of various funders which helps artists between 25 and 35 who have already started on their careers, but who can benefit from mentoring and advice to take them to the next level and has been running since 2005.

As part of the scheme the artists are given performance opportunities of which this is one example.

The concert was rather strange, with three very different short 30 minute sets from three of the current batch of artists, interspersed with a sales pitch for the Take Five programme.

Misha Mullov-Abbado Group

Misha Mullov Abbado (bass).James Davison (trumpet & flugelhorn), Matthew Herd (alto sax) Sam Rapley (tenor sax), Liam Dunachie (piano), Scott Chapman (drums)

Mullov-Abbado is a fine composer and arranger, and he writes catchy melodies with particularly clever interactions between the three horns. There are intricate passages of collective improvisation as well as some fine individual solos. The music moves between different styles and the overall effect was one of a polished and entertaining whole.

Charlotte Keeffe Quartet. Photo copyright John Watson/

The Charlotte Keeffe Quartet

Charlotte Keeffe (trumpeter/flugelhorn); Ashley John Long (bass), Ben Handysides (drums) Moss Freed (guitar)

This was a very different 30 minutes. It was a bit less polished, but more visceral. Keeffe is an improvising musician who wears her heart on her sleeve. She was emotional and ferocious, and was clearly loving every minute of it. She has a fine band, and Moss Freed in particular made a noticeable contribution, but throughout, the music was dominated by Keefe’s outstanding trumpet.

Marcus Joseph. Photo copyright John Watson/

Marcus Joseph

Marcus Joseph (Alto Sax & Spoken Word), James Wade-Sired (Trombone), Lorenz Okello (keys), Wayne Matthews (Bass), Romarna Campbell (drums)

This was again a very different set. Much funkier, with spoken word, poetry and a computer track. It started with a tribute to Jamaican poet JeanBintaBreeze with Joseph getting the audience to take part. Joseph plays a pleasant alto sax and the band lays down a very funky beat. There was some fine soloing from all the band and in particular from trombonist James Wade-Sired.

Whilst the individual sets were a bit too short to be entirely satisfying, they were all enjoyable, and more than enough to show what terrific talent has come from this iteration of the the Take Five project. Another three bands were due to appear later in the evening, and it’s clear that many of the artists are already feeling the benefit of this outstanding programme as their careers develop.

Peter Slavid broadcasts a programme of European Jazz on and various internet stations

Categories: Live reviews

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