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Press » F-IRE Festival 2008 @ Pizza Express

F-IRE Collective Festival

Heralded by many as the saviours of British Jazz, the F-IRE Collective – a loose organisation of musicians based in East London – have been constantly pushing at boundaries over the past few years. Recently we’ve seen members such as Seb Rochford and Pete Wareham move into punkier territory with bands such as Acoustic Ladyland, Polar Bear and Fulborn Teversham, singer/songwriter Julia Biel move into bucolic folk and guitarist Jonny Phillips flirt with Brazilian music.

This five-night festival, however, shows that F-IRE (an acronym for’Fellowhip for Integrated Rhythmic Expression, apparently) is still very much a jazz organisation. We kick off tonight with a trio featuring saxophonist Ingrid laubrock, pianist Liam Noble and drummer Tom Rainey, along with a solo piano set from Cuban music expert Mark Donlon. Tomorrow’s gig features afro-Cuban outfit Méta Méta, led by alto saxophonist Barak Schmool who set up the collective in 1999; Thursday welcomes a solo set from acclaimed pianist Robert Mitchell, plus a piano trio; Friday sees a spacey trumpet/bass/drums trio featuring trumpeter Tom Arthursl while on Saturday the brilliant Basquiat Strings bring strange collision of Bartok and bebop to Dean Street. There are also F-IRE related events elsewhere in Soho, including a gig at the Spice of Life tomorrow and a world music event at Guanabara on Saturday.

John Lewis

8 January 2008
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 F-IRE Label: www.f-ire.com/label  WHO STARTED The F-IRE? 
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