Totally brilliant set from local legends Pat Thomas & Orphy Robinson (Black Top). Scuzzy electronics, dub bass rhythms and Pat's perfectly timed acoustic interludes on keys fuse with heavy vocal samples to produce a truly diasporic sound. Sounds like a walk down Ridley Road market soundtracked by Thelonius Monk and Jamal Moss.
"When you arrive in England there should be a bus or a trainline you can catch to your hotel. Getting from one side of London to the other should cost you no more than your entire life savings or first born child. If possible, try not to eat the food. If you really must then your safest bet is battered swan, chicken pyramids or tea pie - which is a pie with tea in it. The English brain is divided into two hemispheres - the left which produces spheres of shame and self loathing, and the right, which produces spheres of shame and self loathing."
Pat Thomas / piano, keyboard, iPad
Orphy Robinson / vibes, xylosynth, cajon, iPad, laptop & effects
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Tuesday, April 17th 2017 by Shaun Crook. Mixed & mastered by James Dunn. Photo by Dawid Laskowski.
Available as 320k MP3 or 24bit FLAC
Pat Thomas studied classical piano from aged 8 and started playing Jazz from the age of 16. He has since gone on to develop an utterly unique style - embracing improvisation, jazz and new music. He has played with Derek Bailey in Company Week (1990/91) and in the trio AND (with Noble) – with Tony Oxley’s Quartet and Celebration Orchestra and in Duo with Lol Coxhill.
"Sartorially shabby as Thomas may be, and on first impression even rather stolid, he has a somewhat imperious charisma that’s immediately amplified when he starts to play. Unlike other pianists whose virtuosity seems to be racing ahead of their thought processes Thomas always seems supremely in command of his gift, and his playing, no matter how free and ready to tangle with abstraction, always carries a charge of authoritative exactitude." - The Jazzmann
Orphy Robinson is one of the major figures of the jazz scene - he has released records on Blue Note and played with Don Cherry, David Murray, Henry Threadgill, Courtney Pine, Jazz Warriors and Andy Shepherd.
He has composed for Film and TV- including “In answer to your question” for the Balanescu String Quartet and “ 42 Shades of Black” for Phoenix Dance Theatre,which was performed at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Currently leads the groups CODEFIVE- NUBIAN VIBES - he also plays in the groups BRUISE and CLEAR FRAME
"As the saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter once famously remarked in a 1992 interview with Mel Martin, “The word ‘jazz’ means to me no category”. You would similarly search in vain for a pigeon hole in which to place Black Top #5. An evening of surpassing invention and ambition, there might be a more creative, more engaging and more inspiring gig at this year’s London Jazz Festival. But I somehow doubt it." - The Arts Desk