Zoe Rahman Trio LIVE (with special guest Idris Rahman)
Manushi Records/distribution by Discovery
Release date 17th May 2009
Pianist Zoe Rahman has been hailed as one of the UK’s brightest talents. A vibrant pianist and noted composer, she has worked with the likes of Jerry Dammers’ Spatial AKA, Courtney Pine and drummer Clark Tracey. Her previous trio album, Melting Pot, was nominated for the Nationwide Mercury Music Prize, while her most recent album, the critically acclaimed ‘Where Rivers Meet’ found her and her brother Idris (also featured here) exploring the music of their Bengali heritage.
LIVE however features Zoe’s fabulous trio (bassist Oli Hayhurst and drummer Gene Calderazzo) and special guest Idris Rahman kicking back in the relaxed setting of a live performance and exploring some of Zoe’s key influences with luminous readings of music from Abdullah Ibrahim and Joanne Brackeen (one of Zoe’s tutors at Berklee and a formative influence), Phineas Newborn’s splendid Harlem Blues, her own Last Note and intriguing covers from Mario Langinha and Hemant Mukherjee.
“We never intended to do a live album but we had a two-night residency at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean Street and five minutes before we went on stage on the first night the sound guy asked us if we wanted him to record it…..so we said yes. The second night (from which all the tracks on the CD are taken) we put up two mics at the front of the stage to capture the sound as we were hearing it on-stage. For us, the CD captures the raw energy and playful interaction/inventiveness of the band at that moment in time”
Luckily Idris joined the trio for the second night and amongst the music are live versions of two tracks from Melting Pot, ‘Mucche Jaoa Dinguli’, for their Dad who was in the audience and ‘Last Note’ featuring a solo intro by Oli Hayhurst. The other tunes spotlighted here are simply compositions the trio love playing (the joy shines through). Funnily enough one critic reviewing the gig (and obviously not listening properly!!) thought Friday 13th was one of Zoe’s compositions and that that they kept getting it wrong and had to start again three times – obviously the humour of the piece was completely lost on him!
Zoe says it his hard for her to be objective about the music” “….but what struck me when I heard it was the variety of texture and the expansiveness of the trio sound…..and it sounds like we’re having fun…..and I love the drum sound – it’s really in your face!”