11 October 2018

Comfort in beauty

If Voronoi was something new and perhaps unsettling, Entropi was a deeply pleasurable visit to a past love. I think of Norman Connors and the album Love from the Sun, a 70s masterpiece with stellar names (Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Eddie Henderson, Gary Bartz, Carlos Garnett, Hubert Laws, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Buster Williams, Bill Summers, Kenneth Nash, Nathan Rubin, Terry Adams). This was at the time of dissention over Miles’ electronics in Bitches Brew. NC went on to play disco and was lost to jazz, but this was deserving and somewhat remembered work (I heard a cover of the title track amongst the on-board music flying to London only a week or so ago!). So it was a great pleasure to hear Entropi. It’s a classic combination: two horns out front with piano trio, but working lusciously together with some very satisfying compositions (from leader Dee on alto), openness to meld together and move through solos and features, some lovely dissemblement mostly led, to my ears, by plays between bassist Olie and easily-atonal pianist Rebecca with nicely gentle and modest but satisfying drumming from Matt. The two front liners sat together well, too, in heads and such but also I noticed some simultaneous solos that spoke different dialogues but communicated with real purpose. Loved that! It was a restrained and understated band but that’s how this style is, serious (as your life) and purposeful but not showy. And one point of interest, two women in five players. I’ve heard much about few women in music, including jazz, but my experience over the years is that there have been no women to play with. This was two women, both essential to the band, one the leader, the other the essential harmonist and a beautifully stated but discrete band. This is society as I like to see it. Congrats to the band and a pleasure.

Entropi performed at Vortex Jazz Club, Dalston, London. They comprised Dee Byrne (alto, compositions), Andre Canniere (trumpet), Rebecca Nash (keyboard), Olie Brice (bass) and Matt Fisher (drums).

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