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Sunday 16th
posted by Morning Star in Arts

Deep Trouble Trio

Cafe Oto

London E8


DEEP Trouble are three British improvising troubadours of astonishing musicianship, playing brass, strings, metal and skins as if they were one.

Sarah Gail Brand coaxes the most beautifully unlikely sounds from her trombone — whines, growls, poems, incorrigible belches and a huge palette of multisonics — all with an intense narrative quietude.

Mark Sanders's world of brushed snares, hand-drummed storytelling and enchanted cymbalism is like that of no other British drummer, while Paul Rogers's bow saws across or his fingers pluck his unique five-stringed oval acoustic bass as if an agitated rookery has arrived in the heart of the venue.

So many simultaneous notes spring from his strings — deep, then suddenly as high as a jet slipstream.

Brand says of him: “Paul played for years with my inspiration, Paul Rutherford. He knows every sound and inflection a trombone can make. For me, now, it is both powerfully exciting and daunting to be playing with him.”

At the outset of their second piece, Rogers's bass shudders with a pulsating vibrato, so agilely does his bow dance over the strings.

Brand's horn softly guffaws as they palaver then, suddenly, it is as if her slides are projecting from a New Orleans tailgate in a street parade and she were about to blow Savoy Blues, so resonant and essential are her jazz instincts.

Deep Trouble is what this singular trio call themselves and they are exactly that, exuding improvising surprise at every turn.

Yet there is a sense of deep tradition too in their sounds and you can hear the whole history of jazz as they play, and the very essence of all music in an instant of their notes.

Review by Chris Searle