Affinity

Origins 1965-1967

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For a band whose own career stretched no further than one self-titled album that is worshipped as much for its scarcity as its actual quality, Affinity has proven quite the shelf-stuffer in recent years. Vocalist Linda Hoyle's solo album, and the band's attempts to continue on without her, have both seen release, and now the clock turns back to the years before Affinity was even dreamed of, in the form of drummer Mo Foster and pianist Lynton Naiff's earliest collaboration.

Alongside double-bassist Nick Nicholas -- now a philosophy lecturer in Canada, trivia fans -- the pair formed the succinctly and so accurately named Jazz Trio, and it's their recordings that make up this set, a clutch of songs recorded in sundry locations around their university base: a rudimentary studio, the debating chamber, and various noisy bars.

It's fairly straightforward stuff; the trio's repertoire was locked into light jazz arrangements of sundry pop and torch classics, and little about Origins could ever prepare the listener for the full force of the later Affinity. There is, however, one definite treat on board, as the final track, a reprise of "My Funny Valentine," reunites Nicholas and Foster at a 1980 party, then adds Hoyle's so distinctive vocals to the brew. It isn't brilliant, it isn't especially well-recorded. But it does lend a neat circularity to the collection.

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