Yussef Dayes gave a fantastic performance at a sold-out, overflowing Scala, gifting the audience with finger blistering drum solos with all-round great performances from his band, as well as special guests, Alfa Mist and Mansur Brown who joined for several songs.
Yussef Dayes’ set, which we were told was mostly improvised, was splitting at the seams with creativity and musical intention. Dayes’ drumming is incredibly busy and can be somewhat compared to drum n’ bass, or jungle drumming, for this setting it works surprisingly well proving a focal point in the music. Rocco Palladino on bass was in great support providing a more minimalist performance but provided great groove and melody lines to compensate, and contrast the busy drumming. Special guest Mansur Brown, gave a standout performance with fantastic solos rich in colour and meaning provided by his unique tone and virtuoso playing style. Another special guest Alfa Mist came on to serenade the audience in dreamy and warm chord progressions. Mist’s performance wasn’t quite the virtuosic standout performances compared to Brown of Dayes’ but this was made up for with his beautiful key sound and foundation he gave giving the group a starting point to solo from.
Yussef Dayes proved from this concert he must be one of the most talented, and exciting current jazz drummers in the UK, with his stellar performance. After the early demise of his collaboration with Kamaal Williams, sprouting the jazz funk duomodern jazz
s only album ‘Black Focus’ in 2016, he has shown this hasn’t held him back in his musical offerings and performances.
Having seen countless gigs at Scala, near King’s Cross, I have never seen such a full audience. I was amazed to see people jam-packed right to the back of the room and almost spilling into the hallway. I am aware Yussef is a highly acclaimed drummer, but I was unaware he would bring in a sold-out show for a medium sized venue, on a Tuesday night for a modern jazz gig. With modern jazz really starting to break more into the mainstream, the next few years will be very interesting times and look forward to seeing where musicians like Yussef Dayes, Alfa Mist and Mansur Brown take their music.