Live reviews

Zoe Rahman “Colour of Sound” album launch at Kings Place

Zoe Rahman Octet
(Kings Place Hall One. “Colour of Sound” album launch. 6 September 2023. Brief (*) live review by Sebastian Scotney)

Zoe Rahman Octet. Photo credit Monika S, Jakubowska

Kings Place Hall One was completely sold out for the Zoe Rahman “Colour of Sound” album launch. There is a particular aptness and justice about that: the next two weeks are completely taken up with one of the venue’s runaway successes, the London Podcast Festival, so these walls will not be hearing any more live music for a while….

Not yet a subscriber of our Wednesday Breakfast Headlines?
Join the mailing list for a weekly roundup of Jazz News.


That said, there are far more likely explanations as to why the hall was full: it might simply be that the word has got out that the pianist always puts on concerts that are lively and rewarding.. or maybe LJN’s good friend Rob Mallows had made sure that the Meetup group was out in force… or maybe Kings Place’s and ECN Music’s combined marketing has been cutting through…

What was clear was that this album launch was a very special occasion, not least for Rahman herself: she had made sure that family, friends, her first piano teacher at Junior RAM, and not least the community around her children’s school in Barnet which she is devoted to (see link to a 2021 concert there below) would turn up in support.

She had clearly put a major effort ahead of the event. Most of the programme was upscaled to be performed by the full forces of her octet, specially arranged for this night. Those many voices have a wonderful tendency to reinforce and to give heft to her musical ideas. Rahman has said of her current tour based around the album release, that “every show feels like a celebration and this music reflects that.” There is truth in that by the bucketload.

The contrasts, the way Rahman’s compositions can unleash good feelings is something very special. Perhaps the best example of it came with the upbeat ending of the first half, when the quiet happiness and solace of “Peace Garden” for trio led straight into the township vibe of “Conversation with Nellie”for the reassembled full band. There was not just a full house for the concert last night, this was a house full of joy.

(*) Mike Collins, in his album review (link below) has covered the music so well, so I just want to concentrate on the very special sense of occasion.


1 Dance of Time
2 For Love
3 Little Ones
4 Sweet Jasmine 
5 Peace Garden 
6 Conversation with Nellie


7 Roots
8 Go with the Flow
9 Maya
10 Unity
ENCORE: Red Squirrel


Zoe Rahman – piano/ composition/directing
Rowland Sutherland (flute/alto flute)
Helena Kay (alto sax)
Idris Rahman (clarinet/ tenor sax)
Alex Ridout (or) Byron Wallen
Rosie Turton (trombone)
Alec Dankworth (bass)
Gene Calderazzo (drums)


12 September – Dorking, Watermill Jazz Club
21 September – Birmingham, Midland Arts
28 September – Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music
13 October – Liverpool, The Tung Auditorium

LINKS: Mike Collins’s album review
Lavender Sutton’s concert review from 2021 at Frith Manor School

Categories: Live reviews, Reviews

Leave a Reply