Review: London Jazz Festival - TrioVD & AfroCubism

By suke Last edited 94 months ago
Review: London Jazz Festival - TrioVD & AfroCubism


Chris Sharkey, Christophe de Bezenac and Chris Bussey, collectively fiery contemporary British jazz outfit TrioVD, positioned themselves cosily at the right side of the ICA’s theatre stage, perhaps lulling you into a false sense of security if you didn’t know what they were about to hit you with...  Having experienced the trio at last years LJF, we had a very good idea and they didn't disappoint - coming at us with all the subtlety of the title of one of their new songs, Brick.

From start to finish, tracks from debut album Fill It Up With Ghosts amongst new ones were played out in a fearless and dynamic onslaught of ‘thrash-punk, math rock-esque, free jazz' style. The ferocity and physicality of Bussey's drumming (which could quite possibly give two drummers a run for their money) the uninhibited, caustic sax playing of de Benezac and Sharkey's ability to play both bass and guitar at the same time, rendered us completely awestruck once again!

AfroCubism - a project that finally came to fruition 14 years after it’s original conception. This is how Buena Vista Social Club, might have sounded if Nick Gold's original idea of a collaboration between Malian and Cuban musicians had worked out. Some of the original musicians are no longer with us sadly, but AfroCubism still boasts some core members and Malian luminaries.

Being seated in The Barbican is not the best position to enjoy a band with such optimistic sound and infectious rhythms but the audience put paid to that by spending most of the time up on their feet dancing. With Cubans dressed in red shirts and Malians in traditional dress the music seemed equally divided between the two cultures, with Cuban vocalist/guitarist Eliades Ochoa taking the lead and brilliant ngoni (african lute) maestro Bassekou Kouyate close by.

There was lots of soloing and dueting - trumpets, guitars, ngoni and Kora (African lute harp)  impressive runs by Lassana Diabaté on his balafon (wooden xylophone) and the clear, soulful vocals of Kasse-Mady Diabaté. The whole evening had a real celebratory feel to it and brought London Jazz Festival 2010 to a close on a very upbeat, smiley vibe.

Last Updated 25 November 2010