That’s why The QOW Trio are thrilled to be back to business in front of a real audience at Shoreham’s Ropetackle on Saturday, May 22 at 8pm.
The trio features saxophonist Riley Stone Lonergan drummer Spike Wells and multi-genre bassist and bandleader Eddie Myer.
The trio initially got together through their mutual love of Sonny Rollin’s classic piano-less trios of the 1950s but soon found themselves expanding their repertoire to explore the rich and varied territory laid out by the great tradition of big-toned tenor players over the generations.
And then the pandemic hit…
“We got together at the end of 2019, really a chance meeting at The Verdict night club in Brighton,” Eddie says. “I had my own jazz project, and I met Riley through that. He is a fantastic player, London-based. I knew Spike from just being on the Brighton music scene.
“Spike said to me he would like to play in a trio and did I know anyone. I said yes, I knew exactly the right people! Spike is the older generation and Riley is the younger generation and I am somewhere in the middle, and it just works brilliantly, the cross-generational thing that we have got going. They are both very adventurous musicians, but they both have a love of tradition.”
As for Eddie, he also plays rock music in Turin Brakes: “I have different side projects. This lets me play all the notes that I can’t play with Turin Brakes!”
The trio were quickly off the blocks: “We got together and we played a show at The Verdict and it just seemed to click, and we just said ‘Let’s get into the studio’ and we did. We had a fantastic day recording in London. That was late 2019, and the record should have been released in early 2020. It just clicked and it was almost like the project was just driving itself.”
The album was recorded live across a single charged afternoon and features eight of the trio’s favourite classics including You Do Something For Me and Slow Boat To China as well as Qowfirmation. And they were just about to release the record when the pandemic hit, but they decided to go ahead with the release all the same: “It was obvious that this was not going to be something that was going to be resolved quickly, and so we just thought ‘Let’s put the album out anyway.’”
They were able to keep some momentum going by livestreaming from the Ropetackle: “The livestream really helped and we had social medial and the digital world, but they are just no real substitutes, and that’s why it is so great to be able to come back to the Ropetackle and to play in front of some people in the same physical room as us, which I think is just going to feel fantastic. When we did the livestream at the Ropetackle, it was just us and the camera crew. This is going to be great.”
And yes, they will feel safe: “They have got a very strong policy there. It will be socially distanced. They are very much on top of all the issues. Spike is in an at-risk group because of his age. We all play jazz; we all love playing music… but not enough to risk our lives!”
The trio pool their different takes on the music they love, coming at each tune from their own angle, informed by their own generation’s perspective.
As Eddie says: “That’s how we see QOW Trio – looking back to the heroes of the music and looking forward to a future of endless, unlimited possibilities.”