29 July 2019

Melting hot

John Mackey called together his monthly Melting Pot at Makeshift and it was a huge pleasure. Nothing unexpected there. It's a jam, but with the best of our musos and a guest. This month, the guest was Steve Sedergreen gathering with locals John and Miro Bukovsky, James Luke, Greg Stott and Peter Campion. Peter was new to me: apparently a student replacing Mark Sutton for the night. He did a great job with funky firm sometimes challengingly syncopated drumming. Steve was busy as, moving things around with abandon, very prominent and influential although fairly sparing on solos. James is a local hero and easily deserved. I play bass so he'll always catch my awareness, but his space matched with alacrity, tonal variety (the most delicious 6-string tone augmented with various effects) and moving underlay just floored me. He, too, was very influential on the path of the jam. Then John, of course, exhilarating and adventurous from the first notes: a giant. And Miro sounding his synth-best with some harmoniser pedal. And Greg, clear on his first semi-acoustic, then dirty and deep with his e-guitar. I dare say there was little immediate preparation here, other than several lifetimes of listening and practice and experience. Miro played some electric Miles in the breaks and this just mimicked some of this band. They are masters and this was a huge pleasure and no doubt an indulgence for them, too. Perhaps some tunes were fully improvised, some were stock standard blow charts (So what, Footprints) and just one glorious standard (You don't know what love is) which got a firm, rocky treatment from Peter with some suggestions of swing from others. Then another one or two head that I didn't know. Some hugely satisfying playing: hot although not hot as in swing - this was much more funky and contemporary. And some laughs with those harmonised Darth Vader voices. Just a blast from the best. BTW, if you plan to go, pre-book online.

John Mackey led a session at Makeshift bar in New Acton with guest Steve Sedergreen (piano) and locals Miroslav Bukovsky (trumpet), James Luke (bass), Greg Stott (guitar) and Peter Campion (drums).

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