The Verdict, Brighton
Friday 20th April, 2018
Featuring mostly original material from his debut album, Riser, Rob Luft is a skilled guitarist who effortlessly creates any sound-world of his choosing, frequently adding fresh sounds, influenced heavily by Congolese rumba and soukous music. Touring with the same regular band that recorded the album has enabled him to develop a strong rapport, particularly with the rhythm section (bassist Tom McCredie and drummer Corrie Dick regularly perform together with Elliot Galvin and Laura Jurd). This has enabled Luft to interact and blend his sound with what they’re doing, especially as he’s a keen listener.
His delicate touch, particularly on ballads such as Expect the Unexpected, was breath-taking, as was his overall awareness and sense of time.
The second set featured tunes composed more recently, since recording his debut album, together with an original piece by drummer Corrie Dick. Luft’s finely-crafted tribute to Derek Bailey enabled saxophonist Joe Wright to trade some beautiful phrases with Luft. Ending the set with the final track from the album, We Are All Slowly Leaving, his slow and delicate homage to drummer Paul Motian transformed into a musical journey with complex interweaving lines underneath a steady bass drum beat.
For their encore, the band performed the tune Berlin by Danish bassist Anders Christensen that features the composer’s tribute to Berlin techno, the pulsating beat acting as a backdrop for some dazzling guitar explorations.
Rob Luft, guitar; Joe Wright, saxophone; Joe Webb, piano; Tom McCredie, bass; Corrie Dick, drums.
[Photo: Lisa Wormsley.]