Live Review: Outside Broadcast

Outside Broadcast

The Verdict, Brighton

Saturday 17th August, 2019

For a seemingly serene and quiet Saturday night typical of our country’s climate as it bids summer farewell, this was not the atmosphere being cooked in The Verdict Jazz Club which with open arms and exciting curiosity welcomed to the stage three-piece outfit Outside Broadcast. Consisting of saxophonist Rich Muscat, bassist J.J. Stillwell and drummer Angus Bishop, this trio is doing an outstanding job of capturing the essence of free jazz whilst still maintaining their own unique voice.

Now, when one mentions the phrase ‘free jazz’, there are a few things that may spring to mind.
The music of Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor could be on the tongues of jazz or general music enthusiasts. To some less familiar with jazz or its sub-genres and styles, perhaps the name simply speaks for itself and suggests more freedom in the creation and performance of the music. While these preconceptions definitely all have relevance to this style of music, there are, as with any way of conducting artistic expression, much more to it than that, as was shown to a receptive audience through the energetic performance of Outside Broadcast.

After a short and humorous introduction the trio kicked off what was to be a varied and beautiful set. Starting off with an original piece, delicate saxophone notes were pushed forward by strong bass and slow but driving drums. This opening tune of the performance left the audience captivated with anticipation of what was to come. From upbeat and grooving tunes such as the hilariously titled (You Should Be Wearing) Patterned Trousers to more laid back pieces like Haiku, t o the down right, avant garde and out there sounds of their tune Silent Dreaming.

Drawing heavily on the styles of free jazz revolutionaries Ornette Coleman and Charlie Haden, among others, this young group have also brought the music of english folk into the fabric of their music. They create a sound all of their own, evoking the original Ornette Coleaman quartet, had they spent time in the english countryside prior to releasing their seminal masterpieces. This can be heard in Outside Broadcast’s self- titled release and was heard through and through by all those present at The Verdict that evening. Finishing
the set with their tune titled She Takes Her Bow, the band brought the evening to its conclusion and took their leave from the stage with the full applause of an audience who left with a clear idea of what freedom in music can be.

George Richardson

Rich Muscat, saxophone; J.J. Stillwell, bass; Angus Bishop, drums.