Live Review \\ Ruby Rushton at Church Of Sound

Arriving to the scent of vegetarian curry and sounds of conversation and clicking glasses, Church of Sound sets a communal tone. Once you overcome the relatively surreal element of a gig in a church, you become tuned into the incredible community that this night has created, in giving artists the chance to interpret older songbooks by prestigious artists. 

This night is Ruby Rushton’s take on Wayne Shorter, followed by original material from the band in the second half. The first set bypasses potential nostalgia traps and finds a modest balance between validation of jazz legends and forging new space for the jazz artists of this time to shine. 

Set up in a round, the spiritual setting is inescapable and cosy. Everyone looks into the circle creating a familial energy and oneness, once again fulfilling that gorgeous sense of community. The venue’s holy acoustics were fully realised in a peak moment when the band stripped back in the first half with Aidan Shepherd on the grand piano and Ed Cawthorne AKA Tenderlonious on flute; a clear crowd favourite. 

Premiering some original material, Ruby Rushton’s second set enveloped listeners in a time-warp of sound that was reflective, fusing electronic and afro-beat influences. Sustained by tight bass lines from Fergus Ireland, and matched by impressive flute solos from band leader, Ed Cawthorne, the crowd fully experienced the multiplicity of sounds that one instrument can create.  Later giving in to surprising high energy funk, the project was nicely balanced by spicy percussion from Eddie Hick and Joseph Deenmamode. Final song of the night, Where are you now? confirmed Ruby Rushton’s ability to combine brooding groove with mesmerising percussion. 

Featured on Worldwide FM, NTS, and nominated for JAZZ FM award’s 2017 ‘Best Live Experience,’ Church of Sound has founded something special. At the end, co-founder Spencer told the crowd, “you’re changing music and that’s beautiful.” 

You can vote for ‘Church of Sound: Orphy Robinson All Stars | Bobby Hutcherson Songbook’ for Jazz FM’s best live experience of the year here

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JS | Nina Fine

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