Nostalgia 77 at the Vortex Jazz Club review

Vortex Jazz Club signLast week the Vortex, London, saw UK Jazz ensemble Nostalgia 77 stage a 3 night ‘electric’ residency in its cosy club.

The group, headed by producer Ben Lamdin were joined once again by singer Josa Peit (who worked with the group on their 2011 album ‘The Sleep Walking Society’) and a host of other supporting acts.

Opening up on the first night, was duo Sara Mitra and Rob Uppdegraff with a collection of haunting folk songs. Dressed in black and transfixed with a distant gaze, Sara sung what seemed more like chorus’ – for no sooner had she begun the tale than it ended leaving the listener somewhat waiting for the next verse while the last chords of Rob’s guitar resonated around the small room. Sara Mitra & Rob Uppdegraff

With no more than 60 people in the club (including the musicians) enjoying the performances, once Nostalgia 77 hit the stage it really felt like you had Willy Wonka’s golden ticket as the audience were treated to exclusive first performances of tracks from their forth-coming album.

Opening up with a rip-roaring funky piece, Nostalgia 77 had each audience member grooving along in their seats, with heads bopping, hands and feet tapping out the beats – from the get-go you knew you were in for a treat, this was real quality soul gratifying compositions.

Perhaps if the lighting in the club had been a little dimmer it would have detracted my attention from a gentleman sat across the room, eyes closed and fully immersed in the sax solo offered on ‘White Flash’. Still the distraction didn’t last, for all attention diverted back to the radiance of Josa Peit as she sung and grooved her way through the new material, which included one called ‘Don’t Run’ a track influenced by New Orleans Blues and one of my favorites.

Nostalgia 77 & Josa Peit at the Vortex Jazz Club 2013Other favorite pieces of the night had to be the rhythmic and vibrant track ‘Scallywags’ followed by ‘A call for all Demons’ which starts off with a very rhythmic, galloping African drum beat with bass coming in on the rear. As the drum beats intensify to a ferocious pace, you can feel your heart racing as the music surges through your veins. With a terrifying trumpet and startling sax, crashing of cymbals and the bass adding dread – this track was sure to exorcise all demons in the house.

As the night drew to a close, the old favorites were out to send an attentive and appreciative crowd home, ‘Sleepwalker’ and of cause ‘Simmerdown’ (my favorite track) did just the trick.

After seeing Nostalgia 77 and Josa Peit play live, I can tell you that you’ll certainly feel reborn in Jazz!

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