My last gig of the Jazz Festival was the Zoe Rahman Trio. I saw this band last year in a large, cavernous concert hall, and I thought they’d be much better at a more intimate venue; so I decided to check out the theory at their gig at the Bosco Theatre.
They were great. This was quiet, gentle, contemplative music – Rahman played several Abdullah Ibrahim tunes (thankfully without the reverence that Ibrahim requires), as well as some Monk numbers and several of her own. Her playing was good, but she also presented an air that she was surprised to be there: surprised that anyone would come, and surprised that people would know her music. Before one of the Monk’s tunes – following a couple of her own – she said “And now back to some music you are more familiar with”: but the audience had come to see her play! And she has won many awards for her albums – so people would know what to expect.
It was a good gig, bass player Oli Hayhurst and drummer Gene Calderazzo working well as a unit – they really gelled. Indeed the only downside was that during the quieter moments, the noise outside came through the tent-walls of the theatre.