E17 Large Ensemble (Kings Place, Hall Two-The Base. 31 May 2014, Review by Filiz Taylan Yuzak)

Photo credit: Özgür Yüzak

E17 Large Ensemble a jazz quartet plus eight wind instruments. The band is based in Walthamstow, giving rise to the name of the band. The ensemble was formed in 2009 by saxophonist Carlos Lopez-Real and pianist John Turville for a performance to open the Walthamstow Jazz Festival, and the band has been continuing its experimental jazz odyssey since then.

My favourite song was Oak Hill, with a laid-back feel, and leading towards a peaceful, heart-warming piano solo. Posy for Rosie was another great piece, written by Josh Kemp for his daughter. Flutes created a joyful and playful atmosphere.

The second set brought on vocalist Brigitte Beraha,  always such a happy performer. Sketches of Anatolia included just one song inspired by Turkey / Turkish, Neden?, meaning ‘why?’ a setting of a poem by Ercan Akcay, a poet from Istanbul. This was a new commission especially written for Saturday’s performance. It was “the highlight of the concert” and “exotic”, we were told. This composition by pianist Hans Koller was premiered in this concert with enthusiasm, but with an English accent. Here is a little sample of the English translation:

“Why are the stars in the sky far away and alien?
The glint in eyes appears friendly
Why does the furious sea hurt my bones?
My red shroud melts in the waves
Southwest steps in then and ruins my flesh
Then maybe you’ll understand.. why?”

*** E17 Large Ensemble:

John Turville piano, director
Brigitte Beraha voice
Jez Franks guitar
Dave Manington bass
Nick Smalley drums
Robbie Robson, Hugh Pascall, Tom Allan trumpets
Tori Freestone tenor sax, flute
Carlos Lopez-Real alto sax, flute, clarinet
Josh Kemp tenor sax, soprano sax
Alex Merritt tenor sax
Mick Foster baritone sax, bass clarinet

*** Filiz Taylan Yuzak is  a London-based Turkish writer who has a blog in Turkish

My review in London Jazz News is up here.

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