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The Near Jazz Experience

The Near Jazz Experience – left to right: Terry Edwards, Simon Charterton, Mark Bedford

A near jazz experience at The Kino

The new cinema/theatre performance space behind Baker Mamonova continues to push artistic boundaries after its sell-out opening play last weekend. This Friday (17th July) brings The Near Jazz Experience to Hastings & St Leonards for the first time. HOT’s Erica Smith gets excited about the prospect…

00NJEcarparkOptI’ve known of The Near Jazz Experience (The N.J.E.) for a while now. Partly because the drummer, Simon Charterton, is also in The Aftershave – a local combo who pride themselves on being “St Leonards-on-Sea’s leading countrydelic bubblefunk trio”. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with countrydelic bubblefunk, it’s just that I like my music rhythmic, funky and just a little bit challenging. The N.J.E. tick those boxes!

The Near Jazz Experience was formed by multi-instrumentalist Terry Edwards, bassist Mark Bedford and drummer Simon Charterton in the spring of 2011. Born out of a love of improvised music which was accessible (funky beats and grooves) yet experimental enough to break the mould of middle-of-the-road jamming, the trio built up a following at a residency in the heart of London’s East End, headlining the monthly Sartorial Records music nights.

Edwards and Charterton cut their musical teeth with Norwich punk-funk band, The Higsons, after which Edwards formed Butterfield 8 with Madness bassman Mark Bedford. The N.J.E. draws the three together in an outfit reminiscent of The Bays, in that they don’t rehearse, but perform music intuitively, with an ear to danceable beats and tonality rather than inward looking improv.

Mainstays of the N.J.E. sound are Edwards’ double-sax technique – playing alto and tenor simultaneously a la Roland Kirk, Davey Payne (Blockheads) and Ralph Carney (Tom Waits) – Charterton’s polyrhythmic funk patterns and Bedford’s fluid but grounding basslines. The whole is a near-jazz experience – just what you’d expect from musicians who have worked with people as far-flung as PJ Harvey, Robert Wyatt, Hot Chip, Jerry Dammers, Tom Waits, Spiritualized, Ian Dury, Alex Harvey, Robyn Hitchcock, St Vincent and Gallon Drunk. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg…

Louis VauseDoors are at 7, which is just as well because there’s a lot of music to get through this Friday. Just to prove they are still the Kings of St Leonards’ countrydelic bubblefunk, The Aftershave are playing, and so is perma-hatted ivory tinkler, raconteur and all-round bon viveur, Louis Vause. I’ve missed out on Louis Vause, but his website is well worth a visit (the menu bar is a piano) – and his reviews promise great things:
“Beneath his hands come echoes of Dr. John, Professor Longhair, Fats Waller and James Booker. But there is something else too; a rolling, swampy lilt that is all his own.”
The Observer

Wendy MayAnd that’s not all… the biggest bonus treat of the evening for me will be a DJ set from the fabulous Wendy May – She of Wendy May’s Locomotion – the friendliest, danciest night out of the last, and this, century. Wendy May, like all the best people, has found her way down to the sea and settled in Hastings. Hopefully this Friday will be the first of many musical delights from her and the new waves of musicians who have been washing up on our shore.

The N.J.E. are playing at:
Kino Teatr, 43-49 Norman Road, St Leonards on Sea TN38 0EQ
Tel: 01424 457830
Friday 17th July, doors at 7pm

You can buy tickets from the venue or online: £6, plus a £1.50 booking charge

The Near Jazz Experience on Facebook, Soundcloud and Twitter
The Aftershave on Facebook, Soundcloud and Twitter
Louis Vause and Wendy May DJ

Posted 15:26 Wednesday, Jul 15, 2015 In: Music & Sound

Also in: Music & Sound

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