Preview: Kit Downes Quintet
(King Place. 21st September. Preview by Sarah Gillespie)
After asking Kit Downes to join my band for what was supposed to be a one off gig at Brecon Jazz Festival in 2012, I decided to kidnap him and schlep him up and down the country indefinitely. Not only do I adore the way his phrasing hypnotically spins off into wonky bluesy corners, Kit also likes cheese a lot, which was an important factor in our touring compatibility criteria.
'Light from Old Stars' is Kit's quintet project where earthy blues collides with celestial grandeur via an awestruck stargazer. Having stood in a pitch black car park in Devon at 1am with Ben Bastin and Kit jumping around pointing out star constellations, I can vouch for the infectious delight of a composer bewitched by the beauty of something that is no longer there. So this music is rich with a kind of spooky majesty and modest reverence.
I am addicted to the tune Outlawed (see video above) with its dark, contained drama and glimmering clarinet lines and, if I were not playing in Whitstable on Saturday, I would be in Kings Place listening to Kit's band and happily dwelling on the glory of great music and old light. If you're in London, get yourselves a ticket.
Kit Downes Quintet:
Kit Downes: Piano
Calum Gourlay: Bass
James Maddren: Drums
Lucy Railton: Cello
James Allsopp: Bass Clarinet