Live Review: Mndmth / Mistafaz / Harry Weir; with support from IT. La Belle Angele, Hasties Close, Edinburgh. Friday 22 July 2022

Proving just how diverse Scottish jazz can be and how cross-over with other musical genres can bear fruits of many colours, percussionist-composer Stuart Brown brought his usually solo MNDMTH (pronounced mindmoth) project to the black canvas that is La Belle Angele. Tonight, he collaborated with characterful free-saxophonist Harry Weir and Glasgow-based Sudanese rapper MistaFaZ. The gig was a figurative and literal blast.

The evening opened with a short solo set of self-composed material from Aberdeen-based Aiitee, whose rich vocal tones resonated with the deep background beats in a completely satisfying manner. I’m sure more will be heard in the future from this very talented woman.

Thereafter Stu Brown, whose compositional and percussive talents have probed diverse areas in the past, now brought his skills to bear in the company of out-there saxophonist Harry Weir and rapper MistaFaZ. Despite their reported minimal rehearsal time, the three are clearly not strangers to improvisation, and their combined expertise resulted in an intelligent and sensory-flooding, club-friendly show.

Following a recorded introduction to the MNDMTH project that was on the one hand politically-charged and on the other hand tongue-in-cheek – and which prompted cheers and laughter from the audience – the gig took off against a backdrop of mostly relevant movie clips and amidst colourful lighting as intense as the beats.

In energetic, seeming Brownian Motion behind his kit and electronics, the drummer was the main point of reference, with Weir (as far as this listener could tell) accenting or playing against the beat, or just briefly doing his own thing, his confidence and borderline truculence fitting well with the general feel. Meanwhile MistaFaZ’s lyrics suggested an eventful life. His diction was excellent and his colleagues supported him impeccably.

There was such a lot happening in this set that one felt it would have been ideal to have a video record of it, so as to be able to revisit it. Could this be an option for next time?






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