Monkey’s Uncle – Jazz…and You Better Believe it!
Once again, CICCIC has proved itself to be one of the foremost Jazz venues in the South West, and one loved by the bands themselves, which helps explain why some of the country’s top bands like to play there.
Monkey’s Uncle are 5 guys who first met in an Exeter pub. Over several years they sharpened their composing and playing skills together before dispersing across the globe to study, work and play with some of the biggest names in music (too many to drop here). And for the first time in years they’ve regrouped with a repertoire of their own, highly original music. To play in Taunton! At CICCIC!
In their own words they perform ‘original modern jazz combining elements of swing, latin & funk with modern jazz/rock harmony & groove’. Right, OK, I’m glad that’s clear. What I heard was pure molasses, and surfing those sweet sounds was too engrossing to think of pigeon-holing genres.
Al Swainger’s and Jesse Molins’ bass and guitar riffs were like catching up with a long-missed best friend…complex, uninhibited conversations on everything. Both obviously lived every note, Al silently mouthing a scat accompaniment, whilst Jesse’s grimaces looked like chewing wasps. The elegant, rangy figure of Ottone Caretta perfectly matched his lyrical and enticing sax playing, whilst the talented fingers of pianist George Cooper sensitively caressed the keys. Meanwhile Gary Evans’ sticks ‘n skins kept it all together with exceptional versatility, perfectly matching the various moods of the guys’ intricate compositions.
The evening was so toe-tapping, joint-loosening good and the atmosphere so intimate I virtually trickled off my CICCIC-trademark sofa at the end of the evening. One of the best jazz nights ever: I felt privileged to be there. And what a coup for CICCIC!
Written by Fran Pitt