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Herald review for 7DS in Scotland

Here’s the review from Rob Adams of the Scottish Herald for ¬†Seven Deadly Sings, including¬†Thelonious Monk set at the Jazz Bar, Edinburgh, 26 November 2014. How wonderful to have a lengthy, detailed, intelligent and literary review of a jazz gig from a daily broadsheet. I even learnt a new word – eldritch – otherworldly, spooky, ethereal. Now was that me or the PA system?

“JAZZ musicians are, of course, notorious for not knowing anything at all about bad behaviour.

Still, Leeds-based vocalist Louise Gibbs has persevered, done her research and come up with a musical and quite literary depiction of the seven deadly sins.

Pride, lust, envy, greed et al, they’re all here in graphic, at times Hogarthian detail, vocalised with an intensity and occasionally slightly eldritch tone that might not be to everyone’s liking, but integrated into an extensively scored and musically well-constructed suite.

Gibbs has chosen her seven instrumental accomplices well and given each of them individual roles, such as the very talented pianist Sam Leak digging deep into Pride, the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra’s lead trombonist, Chris Greive sassing it up on a bluesy, New Orleans-flavoured Gluttony, and drummer Katie Patterson stepping out of her more controlled persona to portray a very crotchety indeed Anger.

There are some nice colours in the arrangements, notably on bassist Simon Read’s feature, Sloth, and at times the music veers into the sort of art rock angularity associated with Henry Cow & co. The soloing is very definitely in the jazz tradition, however, and tenor saxophonist Riley Stone-Lonergan, alto saxophonist Krzystof Urbanski and trumpeter Kim Macari all featured strongly, with Stone-Lonergan in particular impressing with almost labyrinthine but intelligently-developed ideas as he did on a visit to the same venue earlier this month.

After the intense concentration of the suite, the second set was more of a blowing session, with Gibbs vocalising Thelonious Monk items including Blue Monk, Rhythm-a-ning and Straight No Chaser and the instrumentalists all getting a chance to extemporise at length.”

-Rob Adams, Scottish Herald