All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


The NJE at Indo, Whitechapel

The NJE at Indo, Whitechapel
Gareth Thompson By

Sign in to view read count
Indo, Whitechapel
January 30, 2018

There has been a drinking establishment at 133 Whitechapel Road, east London, since the eighteenth century. A music license was first obtained in 1856 when the site was rebuilt after fire damage. Now a narrow bar, bookended by stained glass windows and a magnificent mirror, Indo hosts a monthly free gig by The NJE (Near Jazz Experience).

The trio's leader and saxophonist Terry Edwards arrived fresh from blowing on the new record by indie darlings Franz Ferdinand. He accepted a house pizza which he placed on the bar next to your humble scribe, "just to tempt you." The place was heaving before the music even got started, as drummer Simon Charterton set up his kit under a vintage clock. The bar is full of assorted curiosities and is where the band shot a video for their cover of "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)." Of course this got an airing, with Edwards using a wah-wah pedal to phase his sax into full Jimi Hendrix mode.

The set was mostly arranged and improvised around the band's debut album Afloat. Edwards shifted between alto and tenor, sometimes using the double-sax technique to honk like the noise of a beautiful traffic jam. He blew a pocket trumpet, muted tenderly, as if sighing a lament for barflies everywhere. Dapper in a grey suit, he also muffled his saxophones using either the mic or his raised thigh, like a consummate showman.

Mark Bedford on bass kept up a funky flow, nodding at The NJE's leanings towards Krautrock. Before a brief interval, Edwards wryly advised the audience to drink responsibly, whilst enjoying another large glass of red himself. The trio returned with a piece driven by tabla grooves, as a crowd of young men smoking on the street outside began a circular dance. We might have been witnessing a New Orleans 'ring shout' circa 1820.

Not that the scene inside was any less animated when Edwards handed out egg-shaped shakers. These mini-maracas were rattled by the crowd until Indo was awash with a kind of ritualised rain dance. There was also time for the band to honour recently deceased English rock eccentric Mark E Smith, with a take on his rockabilly piece "The Container Drivers."

Two nights later, The NJE delivered another smoking set at London's legendary Roundhouse, in support to Nadine Shah. Given the fan base Edwards's band is gaining among jazz fans and mainstreamers alike, you might wish to catch them at Indo, with its stuccoed Italianate frontage, before the place can no longer restrain them.


Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Georg Breinschmid at Hong Kong City Hall Live Reviews
Georg Breinschmid at Hong Kong City Hall
by Rob Garratt
Published: August 20, 2018
Read Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2018: The Community Series at Koncertkirken Live Reviews
Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2018: The Community Series at...
by Henning Bolte
Published: August 19, 2018
Read Sligo Jazz Project 2018: Days 1-2 Live Reviews
Sligo Jazz Project 2018: Days 1-2
by James Fleming
Published: August 18, 2018
Read Alan Broadbent Trio at the Deer Head Inn Live Reviews
Alan Broadbent Trio at the Deer Head Inn
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 15, 2018
Read Flow Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Flow Festival 2018
by Anthony Shaw
Published: August 14, 2018
Read Shipp / Lowe / Baker / Ray at Le Poisson Rouge Live Reviews
Shipp / Lowe / Baker / Ray at Le Poisson Rouge
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 13, 2018
Read "Anat Fort Quartet at Cornelia Street Café" Live Reviews Anat Fort Quartet at Cornelia Street Café
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 1, 2018
Read "Mark Hagan's Jazz Salon At The Old 76 House" Live Reviews Mark Hagan's Jazz Salon At The Old 76 House
by David A. Orthmann
Published: January 31, 2018
Read "James Mahone at SFJAZZ" Live Reviews James Mahone at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: November 26, 2017