A REVIEW OF STEWART CURTIS
BY BARRY JACOBS
VENUE: THE BULL THEATRE, 68 HIGH STREET, BARNET
DATE: 23RD JANUARY 2000
I've just returned after a great evening listening to the music of Stewart Curtis and K-Groove, and you certainly recognise talent when you see it. Stewart Curtis and K-Groove are one of the most outstanding players of Klezmer music to date, a band who have the potential to go all the way. The band features different rhythms and melodies, in varying combinations of trumpet and tenor sax, trumpet and clarinet, or trumpet and flute. Stewart is ably assisted in this by Paul Jayasinha the band's trumpet and flugal horn player, and what a combination these two guys make. The other band members include Rob Terry on Keyboards, Brad Lang on Electric Bass, Eran Kandler on Guitar (there's always one Israeli somewhere in the organisation) and Hans Ferraro on Drums. Hans is the guy who really got me, he has a great stage presence even though he's in the background with his Hawaiian shirt and dark glasses. Curtis switches between saxophone, flute, clarinet and even piccolo effortlessly and punctuates each number with jokes. Stewarts influences are many, from Dexter Gordon and Grover Washington, to the more contemporary Latin American music and he is very adept at mixing these with Jewish music . One of the great strengths of the band is the way they don't take themselves too seriously and regularly send themselves up on stage, which in my opinion makes them play better.
His first album (pictured above) has met with great success, was produced by Oom-cha productions in August 1994 and released through Mabley Street productions in November 1995 (distributed by Grapevine via Polygram). The new album "Smoked Salmon Salsa" is due to be released in February or March 2000. The eleven tracks on this new album contain new arrangements of Yiddish, Klezmer and Greek folk songs. There are also several original compositions by Stewart Curtis. The bands next gig will be on 6th April at Bar Central, 58 Old Street, EC1 at 9pm, Tickets are £5 ( £4 concessions) and £3 before 8.30 p.m. You can catch them later on 16th May at the Vortex Jazz Bar, Stoke Newington Church Street. 2.00pm Box Office 0171 254 6516, and on 24th May at Lauderdale House, Corner of High gate Hill & Dartmouth Park Hill, 8.30pm Entrance £7 (£5 concs). Tickets at the door. A further gig is planned at the Union Chapel for the 14th June, and arrangements are yet to be finalized. Not to be missed.
Next week: An exclusive Interview with Stewart Curtis - so stay tuned.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE STEWART CURTIS AND K-GROOVE, CHECK OUT THE OFFICIAL STEWART CURTIS WEBSITE WHICH PROVIDES FULL DETAILS OF GIGS: http://www.stewartcurtis.co.uk/