It is a full house at The Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho, with people lining up outside, trying to squeeze in for tonight's gig, the second and last by Soweto at the club - after which he is to continue with his hectically busy touring schedule. Soweto proves to be an excellent be-bopper, and also an amazing hip-hopper: not only can he rap, his presence on stage is that of a 'jazz-rapper' (the way he moves and welcomes the audience on stage with a 'wazzup... everybody cool?') The quartet is amazingly cohesive with the guitar playing alongside the sax with a rebalancing effect.
Soweto needs a little time to warm up and get himself into the right stamina, but when he comes to full strength he is inspired, producing a full bodied sound with tight and strong phrases - hard bopping that unveils his broad talent as a saxophonist.
Soweto´s technique is amazing and he is never tired of exploring in depth all possible paths of expression, with a brilliant technical curiosity. The entire act is definitely engaging, and perhaps in 'showbiz' terms the climax is reached with 'Jazz Planet,' a new rapped tune relying on the same base as the 'Intro' to the album ‘Conversations With The Unseen’ (Dune Records - www.dunejazz.com), a Utopian vision of a planet where Jazz shapes all ways of living a very provocative piece that has the audience as well as the quartet laughing their heads off throughout, singing along with the refrain 'on a jazz planet' in a sound system fashion. Guest trumpeter Abram Wilson is invited on stage not only for his ability on the horn, but also because of his remarkable funky voice which very effectively rebalances the deep vocal tones of Soweto. There is definitely more to come from this ensemble.