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Review: 'The NJE'
'Live at Indo, Whitechapel'   


-  Genre: 'Dance' -  Release Date: '12.9.17.'

Our Rating:
Some seven years into the NJE, or Near Jazz Experience if you prefer, monthly residence at Indo in Whitechapel this gig was the trio's album launch for the fabulous near Bowsploitation epic Afloat that is available now on Sartorial records.

Indo is an old pub turned into a Pizza pub and it was absolutely rammed to overflowing to such an extent that the Pizza's were served crowd surfing style as the staff couldn't reach the hungry punters easily. By the time the trio of Simon Charterton on Drums, Mark Bedford on Bass and Terry Edwards on everything else came on you really couldn't move around hardly at all.

They opened with St Leonards Suite which will be a rare occasion of my actually knowing the correct song title and it was funkier and sassier than on the album as they got into that shaft like groove ready to shake the room and get everyone attempting to dance even when they barely had room to stand up or in the case of those sitting down didn't have room to get up for the breakdown. Terry was on both Tenor and alto sax on this and gave us his first twin sax assault of the evening.

Terry introduced the next number as being track 6 which must mean it was St Mary's suite that enveloped us in cool almost supper club jazz with some nice Cannonball Adderley style breaks before Terry went all Augustus Pablo on his Melodica and it sounded like they equated being east of the Houndsditch with being similar to being east of the river Nile but damn it had a groove on it.

The next number that had a very Pink Panther feel to it so I'd guess was Diamonds For Breakfast was grooving along nicely but needed more percussion so Terry handed out Egg shakers to everyone he could get to, it was a real squeeze for him to get through the crowd but soon we were all joining in and most of us did for the rest of the evening.

They then took us deep into Funky Town territory with some deep funky jazz that had a bit of a Donald Byrd style feel to it before they finished the first set with what I noted rather helpfully as being the third or fourth song from the album, umm right, so it was still very funky and I think this was the point that saw Terry whip out his trumpet for a good blast.

After the break they came back for the second set and opened with the band's classic single Knife Edge that took us deep in to the middle of a knife fight on Stepney Green with Terry seemingly duelling with himself while the drums and bass just kept that bewitching rhythm going solidly.

Terry then whipped his trumpet back out for a very Blackbyrd's like take on a tune that reminded me a lot of Cissy strut but wasn't but almost coulda been, Terry also switched to Melodica part way through it but it was brilliant and damn I wanted to have the room to dance to it properly.

They then blasted through Voodoo Chile and it's great to see and hear Terry play all of Hendrix's guitar parts on his sax it was just brilliant and a high spot in a really great set.

They then finished things off with a truly mad tune that has the only real vocals of the evening that was full on hard bop monster with film samples and Terry going all hoo ha and other stuff.

The NJE really do need to be seen live a brilliant set by a great band.

  author: simonovitch

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