In The Mix With Soweto Kinch @ Rich Mix, LDN (Review)

sowetokinch
There’s a whiff of misleading advertising where the new Soweto Kinch weekend residency at the Rich Mix bar is concerned. It turns out, as I discovered on attending the inaugural show last Sunday, that Kinch himself only curates the event. He doesn’t actually play every week and will be merely making cameo appearances once a month.

In the meantime we have various members of Soweto’s band and past collaborators to keep us company. As you would expect the standard is high; particularly appealing when you consider that entry is completely free. First out of the hatch for the premiere gig was Barbados-raised clarinet/saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings, with Neil Charles on double bass and Seb Roachford on drums. The adorably bashful Hutchings is an accomplished bandleader himself and regularly tours with his own consortium of high calibre musicians, ‘Zed-U’.

For three hours (breaks included) on Sunday, a sized-down version of the group regaled Rich Mix with their own interpretation of standards like ‘It Don’t Mean A Thing (If You Ain’t Got That Swing)’ whilst also debuting original compositions such as ‘Calabash’, which was only written the day before the performance.

As well as clear inspiration from the golden age of 20th Century jazz, there were traces of Hip Hop’s extensive influence on Hutchings and co, with drummer Seb Roachford incorporating unmistakeably Timbaland-esque syncopation into a pensive tune or two.

Haunting and mellow, Hutchings’ set perfectly suited the chilled surroundings of the Rich Mix bar. A sincerely pleasant and relaxing way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

–Tola Ositelu

In The Mix with Soweto Kinch is a free event which takes place every Sunday from 24 Jan – 25 Apr (except 4 Apr) / 2pm – 5pm at London’s Rich Mix (35 – 47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA). Click here for details.

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