I love being in this band…. And now we have our first recording release, Permaculture EP.
Tangential are a Norwich-based jazz trio featuring trumpet/ flugelhorn, double bass and drums, formed in 2018. The trumpeter uses loops to build layers of harmony and sound, and the bassist uses the bow and effects to enhance his sound. Live, they mostly play pubs and small clubs and arts centres in Norwich and East Anglia.
What do audiences like about Tangential? The combination of pure acoustics and a little bit of electronics. Their embrace of melody and groove, with a light sprinkle of experiment. Their exploration, since there is no chord instrument, of space in the music. All given a tangential twist.
The band consists of Chris Dowding (trumpet, flugelhorn & loops), Jake Lay (drums), and George McKay (double bass, fx). Over the past few years they have crafted a sound together and a repertoire of material that offers, as their website nicely puts it, ‘jazz for the old times, jazz for the new times.’
Permaculture EP, their first recording, offers a selection of originals and one cover that showcases their range. It was recorded live one day in 2023 in a studio in the deepest green wilds of north Norfolk, almost in the shadow of the sea.
McKay’s ‘Medina Minor’ is a two-beat stomp really, old-school 32-bar AABA format, that always goes down well live, and can often be heard hummed at the bar post-show. The title track, McKay’s ‘Permaculture’, is a low-down medium funky vamp for drums and bass, setting up an extended arco wah-wah bass solo interacting with Lay’s drums.
Next up is Dowding’s ‘Plastic Blues’, gently pushing the 12-bar into an environmental statement, and finishing with the sound of, well, rubbish (a plastic bag). Dowding’s tribute to the late Swedish pianist and bandleader Esbjorn Svensson, ‘Esbjorn’s Song’, opens with layers of melancholy looping trumpet before a relentless drums and wah-wah bass groove changes the mood and underpins the trumpet and then drums solos.
The EP concludes with Dowding’s lovely soulful arrangement of the wonderful John Zorn ballad, ‘Rachmiah’.
Someone said there’s a bonus track on the CD?
The EP launch: 21 January 2024 at The Rosebery, Norwich, which has supported Tangential by booking them for gigs since they started. Free. The recording is released on the brilliant Luton-based jazz label, 33 Records. It’s available at gigs, from band members, and downloadable via bandcamp.