DAVID WAKEFIELD Norwich Arts Centre (Norfolk and Norwich Festival event))
Norwich Arts Centre (Norfolk and Norwich Festival event))
How do you classify someone like Soweto Kinch? Jazzer? Rapper? All-round cool dude and good guy? All of these tags apply; but, above all else, it is obvious that Kinch is yet another in the impressive flow of fine young British jazzmen who have emerged over the last few years and, thankfully, show little sign of abating.
More importantly, he has the intelligence and individuality to steer his own musical course. Although heavily influenced by the likes of Coltrane, Charlie Parker and Ornette Coleman, Kinch has the brash approach of someone operating in a world where boundaries should not exist (in much the same way as does his mentor, Courtney Pine). Thus we do not flinch when he follows a blistering alto solo with a rap vocal littered with apposite social commentary.
Kinch's debut album, Conversations With The Unseen, deservedly pushed him towards a Mercury Music Prize nomination and a MOBO award, and it was this which dominated last night's play list - excellent backing coming from Femi Temowo (guitar), Miles Danso (bass) and Tom Skinner (drums).
Kinch deserves a far wider audience.