Bongo Club, Edinburgh, Sat 7 Apr
As pianist Phil Alexander explained on the eve of the release of their second album , Salt, the band have relaxed into their trademark blend of jazz-influenced Klezmer and Balkan music since forming back in 2003.
‘Having started largely through a grand accident with all the Klezmer and Balkan stuff, we have established a sound, and what we are trying to do now is take that sound and adapt it onto other styles of music as well, but still with those roots.
‘In the beginning it was mainly myself and our accordion player, Pete Garnett, that brought some tunes along. Everybody else picked those up and ran with it, and we evolved the beginnings of this new sound. Since then, though, it has evolved to a point where everybody is bringing in material and writing stuff, which is great. We are sourcing things from much further afield as well.’
Alexander and Garnett are joined by violinist Greg Lawson, bassist Mario Caribe and percussionist Guy Nicolson. Between them, they represent a multifaceted musical background that takes in jazz, folk, classical, and various shades of Latin American music, as well as the Klezmer and Balkan idioms.
‘The band is very democratic and organic in the way we work, and I think we are more comfortable with exploring our own individual backgrounds within the band. Now that we have the basic format in place, it has given us all more freedom to explore. I think that is reflected in the album which we ended up having to record in a day-and-a-half. Fortunately, the material was well bedded-in.’