This mini-album by The Near Jazz Experience highlights the band’s hypnotic improv grooves, salutes a pop hero and explores new ground in the shape of electronic beats and live sound manipulation. But never mind all that. It sounds great – just what you’d expect from Terry Edwards (PJ Harvey, Mike Garson), Mark Bedford (Madness, BUtterfield 8) and Simon Charterton (The Higsons, Alex Harvey).
Spirit of INDO pays homage to the pub in London which spawned The NJE. The band played a monthly residency at The Indo from 2010 until it closed in 2019. This track, which takes up all of Side 1 of this Record Store Day release, gives a fair impression of the jam sessions a.k.a. Near Jazz Experiences, which drew remarkable audiences. Witnesses included Jerry Dammers, Matt Johnson, Reeves Gabrels, Lee Thompson, Kimberley Rew, Robyn Hitchcock, Steve Beresford, James Johnston, Rhoda Dakar, Damian O’Neill, Charlie Higson and Paul Whitehouse. The publican had no idea what he’d let himself in for. Mark programmed a simple loop for the band to play along to, Simon embellished the groove and multiinstrumentalist Terry added the toplines, sliding effortlessly from one horn to another, as is his wont. This single take lasted quarter of an hour, was honed down/knocked into shape somewhat, but retains the integrity of the original jam.
On Side 2 you’ll find a respectful, moving tribute to David Bowie in the shape of an instrumental cover of Five Years marking the man’s passing in 2016. Bedders’ acoustic and electric basses weave around each other while Simon’s understated cymbal-work buoys up the fragile melodica melody. Tizita raises the tempo slightly and is inspired by Ethiopian jazz-legend Mulatu Astatke who Terry had the pleasure of working with a few years back. Title track Nought to 60 is driven by Teutonic beats on electronic Wave drum, a Motorik bassline and heavily effected saxes which thunder towards the buffers, after which you’ll want to flip the album and start all over again.
The release is a Mini-album on 12” vinyl with Download Code and a limited edition of 500, via Cargo Records
The release date: is Record Store Day – 12 June 2021.
To be featured on
- Aural Delights on the Overflow 68
- World of Jazz 441