Miles Mosley Melts Down The Funk At Islington Assembly Hall

Miles Mosley has already started making waves in the UK via a series of extrovert YouTube videos, then as a member of Kamasi Washington's explosive touring band, and fronting his own unit at this year's Love Supreme – now he's back as a headline act. In support are young London-based up-and-comers Vels Trio. They kick-off with a beguiling blend of shimmering keyboard arpeggios, a deep-toned snare-driven disco pulse and clipped off-beat basslines, like an update on mid-1970s Hancock, or a mash-up between Weather Report and Daft Punk. It's a deceptively simple formula; there's no displays of virtuosic limelight hogging, but plenty of creativity is in evidence in the way the trio deftly arrange and re-arrange the textures, swapping focus between Jack Stephenson's array of analogue keyboard sounds, Cameron Dawson's effect-augmented bass, and the ingeniously shifting accents of Dougal Taylor's drums. The set builds til they are making a very big sound indeed, with sweeping keys, overdriven bass and stomping grooves with some nifty details in the hi-hat work, finishing with a polyrhythmic tour de force.

Mosley takes to the stage, an impressive figure in trademark beret, shades and body armour, a look pitched somewhere between a Marvel comic character and Huey Newton. The band smash into some testifying, JB style funk, with Mosley front and centre driving things along on the upright bass and singing in a powerful but light-toned soul voice, akin to John Legend. He works that bass hard, nailing the tight funky lines in tandem with his drummer, the utterly awesome Tony Austin, throwing in slick fills whenever he's not singing, going up high for a solo, whipping out his bow and hitting a bank of effects pedals for some screaming, Hendrix-style freakout. The writing style owes a debt to James Brown, Sly Stone, and the Lenny Kravitz school of bombastic funk rock – Mosley establishes the band's credentials by namechecking work with Stanley Clarke and Lauren Hill, but also Gwen Stefani and Chris Cornell. 'Heartbreak' is a full-on bluesy power ballad that gives way to an extended effects-drenched bass solo that careers on the edge of feedback chaos, with Mosley wrangling his instrument like an unruly bronco, reining it in within a split second to belt out the chorus.

MilesMosely MG 6934

Between numbers he's engaging and effusive; his lyrics extol the virtues of hard work, dedication and collective endeavour, as personified by the West Coast Collective of LA-based musicians that launched both his and Washington's careers. He's warmly thankful towards the London crowd ("Thanks for making London my number one for streaming stats!") and they return his good vibes. This unaffected sincerity tempers the LA slickness of the show – there are solo features for Austin and impressive pianist Cameron Graves, who dazzles with a florid display, like Liszt with tattooed biceps, and the trumpet-and-tenor horn section turn in some powerful statements. But, essentially, the band are there to provide a backdrop for the leader's ebullient personality; his immensely powerful, virtuoso technique and genial good nature win the day, finishing with a direct quote from Hendrix and a triumphant rendition of his best-known number, 'Abraham'.

– Eddie Myer

– Photos by Roger Thomas

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website

If you do not change browser settings, you consent to continue. Learn more

I understand

Breaking News

Mehldau Marvels At Jazztopad

  The entire spectrum can dazzle at Jazztopad, a Polish festival in...

Read More.....

Jazz FM Awards return for 2019

The Jazz FM Awards return for a sixth time next...

Read More.....

Chick Corea, Madeleine Peyroux and Kamaa…

The organisers of the Love Supreme Jazz Festival, which runs...

Read More.....

Peter Boizot 1929 – 2018

The press obituaries for Peter Boizot, who has died aged...

Read More.....

David Mossman – 17 July 1942 - 8 Decembe…

Ahead of starting the Vortex in 1988, there is nothing...

Read More.....

Greg Fox and Pulverize The Sound punish …

  The second phase of Poland’s Jazz Jantar festival involved five nights...

Read More.....

Astral Progression Ensemble and Irrevers…

  Jazz Jantar has been running in the northern Polish port...

Read More.....

Tippett & Bourne, Liane Carroll and…

The Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival will return for its...

Read More.....

Jessica Radcliffe poised an poetic for R…

In this centenary year of the end of the First...

Read More.....

Iridescent Ibrahim Leads Multi-Horn Boon…

The Barbican's foyer is still resounding to the tumultuous multi-horned...

Read More.....

Maisha raise Afro-futurist spirits at Gh…

Scrolling down the posts on Facebook, from people pleading for...

Read More.....

John McLaughlin and 4th Dimension Back F…

Legendary jazz-rock guitarist John McLaughlin has just announced a return...

Read More.....

Dave Douglas Supergroup Dazzles Among Ho…

  Guimarães is Portugal’s birthplace. Surrounded by verdant hills, this quiet...

Read More.....

Bill Laurance Goes Big At Southbank With…

  At certain moments during this concert, Bill Laurance looks like...

Read More.....

Trans-Atlantic Team-Up: Chicago X London…

Much has been written about the jazz scene that has...

Read More.....

Dalston Devils: Branch and Brandon Lewis…

The Vortex and Cafe OTO are separated by a few...

Read More.....

Mike and Leni Stern light up Ronnie Scot…

What an unexpected pleasure to see Mike Stern exchanging guitar...

Read More.....

22-year-old saxophonist Xhosa Cole wins …

Saxophonist Xhosa Cole has been announced as the winner of...

Read More.....

Braxton and Marclay Broker New Sonic Exp…

  The UK premiere of Anthony Braxton's 'Composition No 103' (1983)...

Read More.....

Delay-gratification – Bill Frisell’s spe…

Bill Frisell isn't much of a talker. The music is...

Read More.....

Snarky Puppy, Jamie Cullum and Gladys Kn…

The first artists have been revealed for next year's Love...

Read More.....

Archie Shepp’s Art Songs & Spiritual…

This evening gets off to a flying start with Simon...

Read More.....

Gregory Porter, Joshua Redman, The Bad P…

The first names have been revealed for next year's Cheltenham...

Read More.....

Billy Harper charges up Church Of Sound

A house of praise is the perfect setting for one...

Read More.....

Ezra Collective Get Sweaty And Prophetic…

  "This is about joy and happiness and celebrating everything that's...

Read More.....

GoGo Penguin: Kings Of The Bill Take Fli…

  The Concorde usually hosts mid-ranking rock bands or popular club...

Read More.....

Helena Kay’s KIM Trio launch Moon Palace…

Fast emerging saxophonist Helena Kay is set to release her...

Read More.....

Ben LaMar Gay Breaks Back Of Chicagoan P…

A wet afternoon in the 'Big Smoke' is brightened by...

Read More.....

Shepp Sharp, Fiery and Free at Enjoy Fes…

The Enjoy Jazz festival is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary...

Read More.....

Baker On A Roll As Her Eden Project Pays…

  Lorraine Baker recorded one of the season's freshest sounding releases...

Read More.....

Freestage Stars Ready To Fire Up EFG Lon…

With the full programme confirmed for this year's EFG London...

Read More.....

Sons of Kemet: Kinetic and Chaotic at Ko…

There is already a sense of excitement in the air...

Read More.....

Henri Texier, Denys Baptiste, Ghost Note…

The 37th edition of what is a key date on...

Read More.....

Dave Holland's Aziza Up The Ante At Ronn…

The old joke that the audience will have a chance...

Read More.....

Art Ensemble and Mary Halvorson among th…

The English music critic Richard Williams finished his three-year stint...

Read More.....

A Melting Pot Of Sounds – Pelin Opcin ta…

Alyn Shipton spoke to Pelin Opcin, the EFG London Jazz...

Read More.....


Subcribe To Jazzwise

Advertisement

Call 0800 137201 to subscribe or click here to email the subscriptions team

Get in touch

Jazzwise Magazine,
St. Judes Church,
Dulwich Road, 
Herne Hill,
London, SE24 0PD.

0208 677 0012

Latest Tweets

Mehldau Marvels At Jazztopad https://t.co/5dh463wBww @Jazztopad @bradmehldau @NonesuchRecords @EspeSpalding… https://t.co/YN3S9PBGRJ
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
Fuelled by the belief that classic jazz feeds the heart and soul, @hotsardines are on a mission to make old sounds… https://t.co/6Dx7RrUXwP
Follow Us - @Jazzwise

Newsletter

© 2016 MA Business & Leisure Ltd registered in England and Wales number 02923699 Registered office: Jesses Farm, Snow Hill, Dinton, Salisbury, SP3 5HN . Designed By SE24 MEDIA