Review: Eat Logic live at The Crypt, Hastings, September 29th 2015

This is a review of our recent gig live at The Crypt in Hastings, very kindly written by Rod Hunter.

The Crypt is unmistakably back in Hastings. Six weeks of exciting events since their launch on 30th August has featured bands from near and far and is already inspiring comments like ‘the best jazz club outside of London’. If this is indeed the case, then last night was a match made in heaven as Eat Logic took the stage in front of an appreciative audience.

From the get go it was obvious that this was not going to be an average ‘trad jazz’ evening as the band launched into the first of their instrumentals, a blistering funk-rock workout that wouldn’t sound out of place in a 70s action film. But despite the passing retro reference this is a band firmly rooted in the present, as the next two hours were about to show us.

What followed was an eclectic fusion of contemporary jazz, chillout, drum and bass, nu soul, UK garage, soulful house, funk and Latin – all in the context of an electro-acoustic soundscape. The well thought out arrangements, complex time signatures and sense of harmonic adventure roots the band firmly in the Contemporary Jazz category, but to shut them up in this box would be to do them a great disservice. Each genre they passed through sounded natural and authentic, though their overall sound remains cogent thanks to consistent instrumentation and compositional style. At one point they dropped down to a five piece to deliver an exquisite arrangement of Paul McCartney’s Blackbird, beautifully sung by Alison Limerick – already a future show stopper if audience reactions are anything to go by.

The world-class musicianship of this band cannot be passed over in any complete appraisal of their performance. All of Eat Logic’s members are master musicians and singers whose work ranges from top jazz artists Jason Rebello, Courtney Pine, Hugh Masekela and Roy Ayers to icons of ‘the UK sound’ such as Massive Attack, Basement Jaxx, Imogen Heap and Labrinth. This love of the traditional mixed with the very newest sounds and ideas in music is perhaps what makes Eat Logic unique and perfectly explains their description of themselves as a ‘future jazz collective’. 

Sax player Roberto Manzin’s playing showed a deep study of the jazz vocabulary, delivering an individual and intricate melodic and harmonic flow contained (barely) in highly-charged solos. Trumpeter Kevin Robinson combined formidable chops with great tonal versatility, coaxing other-worldly sounds from his instrument. Drummer Jerry Brown drove the Eat Logic machine forward with expert use of polyrhythms and displacement, delivering power when needed with minimum effort, and showing the greatest sensitivity for what was being played around him. 

Winston Blisset alternated between electric and (electric) upright bass, playing to each instrument’s greatest strengths and underpinning Eat Logic’s sound perfectly. Alison Limerick displayed an impressive range coupled with the perfect tone for pieces like Blackbird – almost Simone-esque in places – and her improvisation mixed great melodic dexterity with a joyous energy that irresistibly pulled us along with it. Guitarist Dave Ital was on top form with a fluidity of playing that was a beauty to behold and Anita Kelsey’s warm soulful tones contrasted perfectly with her stage sister’s jazzy flavours, with her performances lending a light and refreshing element to the band’s set.  

Keyboardist Gordon Hulbert, the bandleader, is the driving force behind Eat Logic and his sound palette is a significant identifying feature of the band’s sound. Think Joe Zawinul, Lyle Mays or Herbie Hancock, only with a 21st century twist. Gordon’s playing obviously draws from a wide range of influences, from the gospel style piano of Blackbird to soaring synth solos and Smith-like hammond organ work, but his strength lies also in the supporting role he plays in helping to create the atmospheres for the soloists’ flights of fancy.

I had a feeling that I was witnessing history last night as Eat Logic, only two gigs into their career, delivered two sets of finely honed pieces as if they’d been touring them for years. This is a band destined for the major jazz stages of the world, so catch them now and watch their rise to the top!

The Crypt continues with their plans to support some of the best local jazz, funk, soul and blues talent, so I look forward to seeing many more successful nights like this! 

Rod Hunter

Eat Logic debut and EP launch at the Half Moon, August 4th 2015

“The legacy of these iconic groundbreakers of the British sound carries through into the Eat Logic collective, dragging jazz kicking and screaming into the 21st century”

2015. North American newcomers such as Robert Glasper, Kamasi Washington and Snarky Puppy have had the British jazz community (quite rightly) so much in awe that they’ve completely missed the biggest innovation in British jazz for decades. On their own doorstep! With the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s long gone, self-respecting music created in the here and now needs to reflect its immediate surroundings, but surprisingly no jazz artists in the UK are picking up the baton. Except one.

Eat Logic's provenance speaks for itself, featuring as they do members of Courtney Pine, Steve Williamson, Hugh Masekela, Trilok Gurtu, Bob James, Jason Rebello, Vibraphonic and JTQ. One of their singers was winning MOBO for best jazz album (1997 Anita Kelsey with Sunship) long before the current batch of US imports were a speck on the horizon. But the band's collective credits extend to many other innovators in the UK's music history - Massive Attack, Basement Jaxx, Imogen Heap, Labrinth etc. The legacy of these iconic groundbreakers of the British sound carries through into the Eat Logic collective, dragging jazz kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

On August 4th Eat Logic released their debut EP with a launch at Putney’s legendary Half Moon - the site of many famous debuts in London's musical history. The self-titled EP, ‘Eat Logic’ features forays into drum and bass, glitch, chillout and soulful house, all brought together within a framework of jazz-informed chords and melodies set in an electro-acoustic soundscape.

If you'd like to hear the EP, please follow this link to buy your copy and be part of history in the making.

Jerry Brown and Kevin Robinson will join Eat Logic at the Half Moon Putney on August 4th 2015

We’re very pleased to announce that Kevin Robinson and Jerry Brown will be joining us for our forthcoming EP launch at the Half Moon, Putney on August 4th. Kevin plays Trumpet and Flugelhorn and Jerry Brown drums. A busy year means that the players on the recordings Dave Land and Paul Jones will be unavailable for the launch in 3 weeks.

kevinrobinsontrumpetKevin is a stalwart of the UK’s jazz/soul scene, with credits ranging from Courtney Pine, Jazz Jamaica All Stars and Matt Bianco to Incognito, The Brand New Heavies, Lauren Hill, Will Young, Paul McCartney, K-Class and himself!

Kevin and Gordon first met on tour with Mr Hermano (Mr Bongo Records) when the band toured European venues and festivals during the summer of 2001 following the success of their single “Free As The Morning Sun”. The record became a world-wide club smashand was voted Sasha’s record of the season in Ibiza.

Jerry GreenJerry is one of the UK’s foremost drummers, having played with Courtney Pine, Angie Stone, Roy Ayers, Incognito and Julian Joseph amongst others. His use of electronics with acts like Girls Aloud, Jamelia and Westlife has established him as one of the industry’s main ‘go to’ drummers for cutting-edge sounds mixed with rock solid grooves.

Jerry was drumming for Matt Goss when Gordon was pulled in to play a few gigs around the UK, including Tea In The Park, The Scala and one of the Hyde Park festivals. The two have stayed in touch ever since, performing together on many occasions. 

We’re very happy to welcome these master performers to the band, really looking forward to the results on the night! you can buy tickets by following this link: buy tickets for Eat Logic at the Half Moon Putney August 4th 2015