Deadeye – LIVE
(Dox Records. Download and LP, available from BandCamp. Download Review by Patrick Hadfield)
It was the name of Kit Downes that first piqued my interest in Deadeye, and indeed he proves once again what an eclectic, imaginative musician he is. And his collaborators, Jonas Burgwinkel on drums and Reinier Baas on guitar, also prove by how much the whole can exceed the sum of the parts.
This set, recorded live at Cologne Jazzweek in August 2022, captures a band that is at times frenetic and others thoughtful, but inventive and exciting throughout. There is also an exuberant joy in their playing, reflecting perhaps their pleasure at being able to play to an audience pieces that were conceived during covid lockdowns.
The four tracks come in just under thirty minutes, leaving one to wonder what heights an extended live set from this group might reach. (Reading reports of the trio’s recent appearance at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival in April (LINK) suggest it’s pretty high.)
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Downes plays organ throughout, though he uses the whole range of the instrument, from a low visceral rumbling bass in parts of The Dance of Princess Discombobulatrix to high runs and arpeggios in his solo in On Two, Unfeathered.
The numbers are fast, Burgwinkel playing with drive and energy throughout, but with a lively, light touch. Baas’ guitar is creative and exciting. There is also a lot of space to chill when they allow things down.
There are elements of free-jazz as well as jazz-rock, prog-rock, and maybe even a little punk attitude in their iconoclastic energy. The band claim many influences, from Richard Strauss and Lili Boulanger to rapper MF Doom, by way of Wes Montgomery and Ennio Morricone. The sound they make is all their own.
LINK: Deadeye LIVE on Bandcamp