Photos of band members of Fusion Phew

Steve Taylor’s Fusion Phew!
A Masterclass in Entertainment
Thursday 16th May – The Marrs Bar, Worcester

Performances for Music Spoken Here at The Marr’s Bar are consistently of the highest standard, with every event featuring something exceptional. Steve Taylor’s Fusion Phew! on Thursday was a real masterclass in entertainment!

Drummer and bandleader Steve established a rapport with the audience from the start before kicking off the set with ‘Comin’ Home Baby’, with features from each of the band members starting with Rosie Frater-Taylor on guitar, followed by Phil Meadows’ first solo of the evening on alto sax, Neil Angilley on keys and Jonny Wickham on bass, then Steve trading fours variously with Rosie, Neil and Phil.

Josie Frater (Steve’s wife and Rosie’s mum, whose birthday coincided with this gig) then joined the stage on vocals and percussion for the band’s rendition of ‘Cravo e Canela’, from George Duke’s brilliant ‘Brazilian Love Affair’ album. This piece afforded an opportunity for Neil to break out his Latin chops on the piano, before Rosie took a solo scatting in unison with her Gibson guitar (a vocal style popular with George Benson). The atmosphere was cooking with gas as Steve took a solo on the kit before the band came back in to close out the piece.

Josie featured again on vocals, with Tracey Chapman’s ‘Mountains o’ Things’, before leaving the stage with Phil for the first of Rosie’s songs of the evening, ‘Umami’, and one of her earliest compositions written when she was just 14. Throughout the evening, the performance was kept fresh as the lineup on stage changed, this time Rosie duetting with dad Steve on the Ashford & Simpson R&B number ‘I Don’t Need No Doctor’, recorded by Ray Charles in 1966. The full band then returned to the stage to belt out the awesomely groovy ‘Lady Day & John Coltrane’ by Gil Scott Heron.

The first set ended with one of Rosie’s favourite songs from pioneers of broken beat, Brotherly, titled ‘DTs’. This featured some lively interplay between Rosie’s guitar and Phil’s alto sax, embellished with pedal effects.

Rosie opened the second set with a solo performance of ‘Give And Take’, taken from her third album ‘Featherweight’, released in February this year. This set also featured three original compositions from Steve and Josie, including ‘The Moon’s The Moon’ performed as a duet with Steve joining Josie at the front of stage with a darbuka, with some enthusiastic audience participation in the vocal motif towards the end.

The set ended with ‘San Francisco River’, a fiery Latin piece from Fourth World, a band with Airto Moreira and Flora Purim among the lineup. This time, Phil featured on tenor sax and gave Neil – renowned for his Latin prowess in Snowboy & The Latin Section among other projects – another outing on the keys before a smashing, playful four-minute drum solo from Steve. The rapturous crowd clamoured for one more and were rewarded with an encore of the Bill Withers classic ‘Use Me Up’.

Many commented that this was the best gig on the Music Spoken Here program so far! I can’t argue, but there have been so many great nights and they seem to be just getting better!

With ‘team Frater-Taylor’ particularly busy with Rosie’s rocketing solo career, we were really lucky to have this band play for us and I am so delighted they were able to fit us in their busy schedule. The previous night Rosie performed at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Chelsea for Jazz FM’s Nigel Williams Presents, and headed on to Brighton the next day for a performance at The Great Escape Festival before heading up to Scotland for more tour dates.

Music Spoken Here present the best jazz, funk & soul acts from around the UK, every other Thursday at The Marr’s Bar, Worcester. Admission to these events is  ‘pay what you can’ on the door.

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