‘One of my favourite saxophone players from this country’ (Shabaka Hutchings)
Church Of Sound
Church Of Sound is the London hotspot par excellence. Every month, the crème de la crème of the contemporary jazz scene gathers at the renowned St James the Great Church in East London. The vibe is such as that of the legendary NYC jazz club Birdland in the ’50s. The format is as simple as it is unique. An ensemble plays in the middle of a church and is encircled by the audience. Aside from their own repertoire, the focus is also on a songbook.
Last year was the first time that COS burst its banks and made the crossing to the European mainland. Base of operations: the former convent and current art centre Les Brigittines. The result: a sold-0ut first edition and an ecstatic audience. A sequel became a must. A two-dayer right away actually, with none less than Alabaster dePlume (Wed 27 May) and South African duo dumama + kechou (Thu 28 May).
To be fair: it took a while, but once you get poet/saxophonist Alabaster dePlume in your head he becomes an A B S O L U T E addiction. Just take a listen to his superb and mesmerizing album album ‘The Corner of a Sphere’, one celebrated by contemporary jazz protagonists. Shabaka Hutchings calls him "One of my definite favourite saxophone players from this country", Gilles Peterson claimed that "He absolutely blew my mind" and the album is produced by The Comet Is Coming keyboard-player Danalogue.
His latest (instrumental) album ‘To Cy & Lee’ was actually picked up by the contemporary tastemaker of the moment: International Anthem (see: Makaya McCraven, Jaimie Branch, Irreversible Entanglements …)
And: seeing = believing. The Guardian wrote: "One of the most thrilling performances I’ve seen this year; a reminder of how vital and adventurous music can be."