/* Footer ----------------------------------------------- */ #footer { width:660px; clear:both; margin:0 auto; padding-top:15px; line-height: 1.6em; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; text-align: center; } -->

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Jazz is a medium best enjoyed live, and for a jazz band performance to be enjoyable, the band has to function similar to the engine of a high-end sports car: not only do the components have to function well individually with repeated high demands, but the individuals must function perfectly in tune to the other parts, ready to roll with the split-second shift of gears and the subtlest changes in tone and direction.

With the intimate lawn of Grosvenor Galleries in Manor Park as his “course” saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart took the audience for a welcome spin through contemporary jazz spiced with Caribbean rhythms and inflections. Arguably unknown to most prior to his performance, the artists, who has performed with the likes of modern soulster D’Angelo and trumpeter Roy Hargrove, made a powerful statement for celebrating music and life on Saturday night.

The five-man combo was something of a mini-United Nations, with two Serbians, a Brazilian, a Puerto Rican and the leader himself, born in Guadeloupe, raised mostly in Europe and now based in New York City (as are all the musicians). They demonstrated that combination of individual virtuosity and collective simpatico that is critical to making the music come alive.

And come alive it did. After a brief spoken word intro, in which eh urged the audience to spare a thought for the people of Iran (fighting to establish a ‘real’ democracy) he led the band into selections from his last two CDs, Sone Ka La and Abyss. Dominated by the infectious poly-rhythms of gwo-ka (an indigenous Guadeloupean form played largely with hand drums), the tunes had hips swaying, fingers snapping and hands clapping, as the celebratory mix and the obvious joy of the players seeped into the crowd.

By night’s end, with the band having played two sets, the party was well and truly on at the final number with patrons willingly abandoning their chairs and dancing in the soft lush grass.

Earlier in the evening, the focus (at least on the leader part anyway) shifted to strings. Maurice Gordon functioned as a kind of “special guest” along with a young trio that gave good support on numbers like “Oleo” “Irie Moods” and the opener, “All Blues”. Before Gordon, Benjy Myaz (whose new album drops very soon) led the audience on a journey through contemporary r&b, pop and reggae.

The entertainment began in the afternoon, with 16 acts who had pre-booked for the Open Mic segment showcasing their talents for the audience. The Fete De Musique is a global celebration co-ordinated by the offices of the Alliance-Frnacaise in each country. The event is also included in the roster of the Kingston on the Edge arts festival - steadily growing in both quality and quantity in its third year. Many more music and arts events remain over the next several days

But for now, Jamaicans can celebrate the building of some new bridges through music and the visual arts , which is what those things were intended to do in the first place.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!