At the end of 1968, Affinity’s vocalist Linda Hoyle was forced to have an operation on her vocal chords to remove what was then known as ‘singer’s nodes’. During her absence, the four guys in the band – bass player Mo Foster, guitarist Mike Jopp, organist Lynton Naiff and drummer Grant Serpell – played instrumental music as part of a month-long stint at Ronnie Scott’s Club in London.
The first nine tracks on this CD were recorded by the four-piece at the club in January 1969. An extra four tracks are taken from an FM radio broadcast and the final tracks features the University of Sussex Jazz Trio, an early incarnation of Affinity.
Within a few weeks after their Ronnie Scotts’ stint, the band were reunited with Linda Hoyle who by then had fully recovered, and they continued thier career ultimately releasing the self-titled album in 1970.
...nine live tracks recorded in January 1969 and at a time when long sideburns and frizzy hair was de rigueur ... and that was just the women! Some jazz standards expertly played and some less familiar, this is a real archive find. The music hasn't dated at all.
There is some great Hammonding from Lynton Naiff and authoritative jazz rock chops from Mike Jopp. Bassist Mo Foster went on to work with Ray Fenwick in Fancy and Jeff Beck amongst others but this release captures a superb band and drips with cool soul jazz that is perhaps now best enjoyed with a good wine, and with the headphones on. Nice.
James Rutherford, get ready to ROCK! (January 2003)
While Mo Foster and Grant Serpell kept the rhythm section nailed it allowed guitarist Mike Jopp and organist Lynton Naiff to play melody or go off at a tangent as they desired. Given how powerful their arrangements are it is probably of little surprise to see that Lynton later worked as an arranger for bands as diverse as Gene, Gay Dad and Page/Plant!
Good sleeve notes and photos as well as powerful jazz make this an album that can easily be enjoyed.
Feedback, (February 2003)
…everything's intelligently arranged and tastefully played…
John Sturdy, Record Collector (March 2003)
They are polished and classy and the sound qualiy is very good. I found it surprisingly accessible…Any aficionado of the Hammond/guitar relationship should add this CD to their collection
Alan Taylor, Pipeline (Spring 2003)
...serves as a reminder that the band were damn good.
Modern Dance, Issue 43 (March 2003)
In the late 1960's, Affinity were on the crest of a new wave of progressive jazz-rock…this album charts the band's brief instrumental period….However, the best is saved for last, as the final track was recorded at Sussex, during the 1965 Inter University Jazz federation competition.
Sussex University "In Touch"
Guitar and keyboard-led instrumentals that blend rock, blues and jazz into a mix that is heavy on melody yet still retains a free form feel....Colourful stuff
Peter French, Hartlepool Mail (April 2003)
A great sounding album is wrapped in a sleeve that hangs perfectly alongside the band's own debut album
Jo-Anne Greene, Goldmine(Feb 2003)