Nat Woodcock- piano
Andy Waterworth - bass
Matt Gibbins - drums
Produced by the Nat franklin trio
Mixed by Pete Radcliff
Engineered by Matt at Field studios, Kent
Percussion Fabian Baird and Pete Radcliff
Hey, I'm Tony Chikano and I'm manager of The Nat Franklin Trio.
I'm often asked where I'm from and the truth is everywhere!
My father was a Puerto Rican rug hustler and was always away on business so I never got to see him too much. My mother was an Afro-Icelandic Pole. She was brought up in New York but used to travel a great deal working the docks, back when working the docks really meant something. I spent most of my youth either traveling with my mother or traveling to find my father. This meant I experienced a great deal of what some of you may call life. I call it reality. Reality is still a precious thing to me even now.
I stumbled into the music business after meeting the late great Sergeant Seldom. The Sergeant was working in a club just outside Torn near Felgfd in Bulgaria. You may know the famous cafe close to the church just around the corner. Anyway I was dragged in there after some misunderstandng with the locals and The Sergeant took me under his wing. The rest, they say, is history. But not for me. This was the future.
Over the years I've worked with all the great pyscho bands including Toots and the Magic Playthings and What's in the Bag, Creep? Recently there was the new wave of Mary Huff's Spiral and the nearly signed Glokenelia which is how I met The Nat Franklin Trio. Never liked the name but that's egos for you. These guys are great , however, and if I had my way and wasn't so busy with other commitments I'd make sure the whole world knew about them. But that's the way it is. I've got a lot on my plate at the moment and I doubt I'll be able to share much of there success apart from the 20% they promised me. But what does that mean anymore.? How many bands are there out there? There's got to be at least 1000. Someone told me there was 10 million but they sure ain't like these guys.
These guys are 1 in a million. Which means there's only 10. And I like those odds even though I haven't been that lucky recently. Let the bidding begin!
It was a confident and charming Eva Abraham who strode onto the Jazz Café stage last Wednesday. She was there to launch her second album Full Circle, which comprised most of the set, although she included 3 or 4 from her first album Shadow Gazing.
She began with the first track of the album, Babe you know me, which she sang whilst playing the piano. Eva immediately showed her mettle as a confident and experienced singer and musician – her ability to sing to the crowd whilst both playing the piano and communicating with her band was endearing.
Eva quickly got up from the piano and transferred to guitar, which provided an excellent backdrop to her luscious voice. I preferred the timbre of her songs with guitar: it seemed that she did too, as the guitar appeared to free her up – she unleashed a more daring side to her voice - it grabbed the attention more completely.
I found her style and voice reminiscent of All About Eve’s Julianne Regan, especially during Breathe - it which reminded me of Martha’s Harbour. For this song, Eva chose to abandon her instruments and be accompanied by solo cello. I found this to be an interesting choice, but it wasn’t to my taste
for an entire song, as Eva with exemplary dynamic control and tuning was let down by some waywardness in both from the cellist. She found a better match in a vocal and piano duet for the next song – Bittersweet Goodbye – and I appreciated the variety of tones, dynamics and timbres that this brought to the set as a whole.
As well as Abraham’s versatility to play different instruments, and sing whilst doing so, she has an incredible versatility in her voice, a great ability to float between registers without any thought, and without any loss of intensity or intonation. The band, too, were able to swap their instrumental roles, with the bassist moving onto the piano and the guitarist taking over on the bass. The arrangements were incredibly tight and well-penned. This was a very slick set.
My particular favourite was Eva’s eighth tune Non-stop, which had much energy and was the most memorable of the set. But it was Star – the penultimate track from the album – that really got the crowd going.
I left the Jazz Café with a tune or two in my head. But it was a shame that Eva didn’t tell the stories behind any of the tunes. I am sure that there must have been interesting reasons behind their composition, and I wanted to know them. After an hour of her compositions I was left with a nagging wish to feel more connected to her and her story. Despite this, the overall energy and variety in the set was enjoyable, and perhaps I’ll get to know her better as each audience member was given a snippet of Eva to take home with them – a Limited Edition of Full Circle.
Review by Sarah Ellen Hughes for London Jazz Blogspot