GIG REVIEW: Alfa Mist in Brighton

Alfa Mist captivates the audience with his hypnotic jazz soundscapes…

By Rhys Baker

Blending melancholic jazz with alternative hip-hop and harmonious soul, Alfa Mist creates a cinematic soundtrack as he performs to a near-to-sold out audience in the Patterns basement.

Humble and focused, Mist delivers his set in almost one continuous flow – hardly a word uttered between tracks bar a self-effacing introduction for his fellow musicians. Like a stream of consciousness, he traverses the audience, seamlessly crossfading from song to song into elongated improvisations – feeding off one and other, as a dialogue between the musicians unfolds before our eyes.

Positioned in front of a majestic wall of dim neon lighting – artfully curated by Patterns – Alfa Mist and his band send us all into a state of mesmeric awe. Covering material from both Nocturne and Antiphon, bassist Kaya Thomas-Dyke takes the mic, delivering her alluring vocal valour.

Tight and groove-centric, while simultaneously freeing the beat, drummer Gaspar Sena keeps the pulsation moving forward through the varying dynamics. While trumpeter Johnny Woodham enters, as if a fluid entity, adding a dimensional edge to the pre-existing wall of sound, contributing to amassing moments of lucid intensity.

Support on the night came from two of Brighton’s most impressive new exports, Footshooter and Vels Trio. Both inspired and positioned in some proximity to this new breed of amalgamated jazz that is emerging out of London and, evidently, Brighton as well.

The evening demonstrated the currently healthy climate of UK nu-jazz – an explosion catalysed with the help of enthusiasts such as Gilles Peterson – championing new talent through his avenues of Worldwide FM and Brownswood Recordings.

With the sound evolving and continuously resurging, there’s surely no doubt in anyone’s mind that Alfa Mist and UK Jazz are killing it.

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