Robert Mitchell 3io

The Capstone
19th October 2011

Reviewed by Sebastian Gahan

Some wise soul once said that the best thing you can do on a cold pre-wintry evening is to go see a jazz show. Whoever this wise soul was, I honoured their uttering by doing exactly that recently with a trip to the nicely hidden, oft-said to be one of the best venues in the country that is The Capstone Theatre. 

On this occasion the Robert Mitchell 3io (That's trio, by the way.) were playing and despite the cold weather affecting turnout it was an excellent night of music. The core trio of instruments, Robert Mitchell's piano; Shaney Forbes drums and Tom Mason's excellent double bass were in place and after a brief introduction of the band they sailed straight into opener 'Alberto Balsam', an at first pensive piece with the trio making minimal noise from their instruments building to a lilting piano solo from Mitchell that really showed his talent before bringing the trio back to play to a rousing finale with piano flourishes lighting up the atmosphere perfectly. 

Other originals, from their new album 'The Embrace' included A Desperate Man showcasing double bass player Tom Mason's excellent playing. It grew from the solo bass playing into a muscular piece with the trio building a bold sound that finished the first set on a perfect note. The second set, following a brief interval began with literal knocking on wood as Mitchell used every part of the piano to create the wonderful sound of Cumulus. It was a dreamlike, pensive piece that could soundtrack any quiet night needing a dose of energy, with the beat count propelling nicely to an energetic finish. 

Elsewhere in the set some choice covers revealed themselves in the form of Massive Attack's 'Teardrop' with the bass playing the vocal part whilst the piano and drum made atmospheric vibes that almost made you shiver in appreciation and Little Dragon's 'Twice' where an ice like piano complemented the wind like drumming and the footsteps in the rain sounds from the bass. In fact, it was an excellent night of music that succeeded in warming up the hearts of many and leaving a lasting impression of excellence from not only the Robert Mitchell 3io but the Capstone itself. 

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