Stephanie Thorburn’s review of Mark King & Friends at Ronnie Scott’s from March is now available in the new May issue of Record Collector, Issue 401.
Level 42’s Mark King and friends delivered a high-octane set combining formidable jazz/funk from his solo catalogue, with Mark’s loquacious satire, plus some improvisational treats and new material. Complete with a three-piece horn section, the night opened with The Essential, featuring Nichol Thomson on trombone. Highlights included the Latino groove of There Is A Dog, and the macabre, Herbie Hancock-influenced Throwing Sevens.
The homage to HH’s virtuosity continued with an instrumental Headhunt, followed by Bossa Nostra and AT’s, a song reminiscent of L42’s Micro-kid. King’s dexterous slap bass complemented Mike Lindup and Gary Husband on keys, while brother Nathan was on guitar and Sean Freeman effusive on sax, Pete Biggin’s unobtrusive sticks driving the band toward rhythmic heights as the set closed with Cream’s classic I Feel Free. An evening of musical maestros whose jazz/rock fusion reigns supreme.