Last week, we headed down to Servant Jazz Quarters for Jazz Plus Productions’ first gig of 2018. It was the start of a run of gigs Jazz Plus have scheduled for early this year and set them off to a flying start.
In the dimly lit downstairs of one of our favourite Dalston venues, the 10-piece that made up the Joshua Cavanagh-Brierley Group delivered some of the best new jazz we’ve heard in a while.
Tightly packed onto the small wooden stage, the set up was quite remarkable. Joshua stands central over a six-string bass surrounded by a four-part brass section, two percussionists, keys player and two guitarists.
Joshua is a well-known collaborator across Manchester’s jazz scene and with such a set up, the delivery was as diverse as we could have hoped. The two sets were littered with zany solos, deep grooves and a genre-spanning taste of what’s to come from the group in 2018.
Their selection of lengthy and rhythmically complex arrangements showcased their talent across a range of sounds, from the completely stripped back to full-on euphoric.
The stand out moment came in the second set when the Group played ‘Mr Flowers’. The track comes from their acclaimed second album ‘I Want to Be Everything’ and features a layered groovy backing upon which saxophonist Sam Healey unleashed a truly rapturous solo.
If their performance last week was anything to go by, we’re more than excited for what’s to come. In the meantime, grab your tickets to Jazz Plus’ next event where duo Skeltr (made up of two members of the Joshua Cavanagh-Brierley Group - saxphonist Sam Healey and drummer Craig Hanson) will be playing at The Macbeth in Hoxton.