Amala's View

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jazz After Glow

For me the name gave the connotation of sustaining the high that the main stage events would have brought. Jazz After Glow managed to take it up a notch. A new fringe event on the St Lucia Jazz calendar, held at the versatile Samaans Park saw some of the best jazz musicians who came to the festival grace the stage.
The event was held over two nights, Saturday and Sunday and was scheduled to begin at 10pm. The first night saw St Lucian saxophonist Luther Francois share the stage with Will Smith of the WES Group who had performed at Pigeon Island on Thursday. Luther played both alto and tenor saxes as he took the audience as far back as his childhood days with his rendition of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, his mother sang it to him as a lullaby. For the greater part of the night Luther and Will Smith were accompanied by Barbadian pianist Adrian Clarke, standing bassist Cochran Holt and drummer Ricardo Francois. For the audience, the moment that stole the night was during the jam session at the end of the set when Luther invited musicians to come up and do a number with them. Twin brothers Nabu and Nathan Jolley from the WES Group accepted and Nathan Jolley, the drummer had a solo that words almost seem incapable of describing. Nathan played every drum in the kit and the sides and rims as well!! He stood, sat, rocked. He ensured that patrons of the first night would return to see him in his own slot the following night!!
The second night showcased a much larger cast. The WES Group started with a few original numbers and the audience particularly liked a number called Yes. Ronald ‘Boo’ Hinkson was then called to the stage along with Michael Boothman, Dr Roger Eckers, Arturo Tappin, Ryan Finn, Raf Robertson. Each of these musicians could have headlined a show and to have them share the stage was pure magic. They each took turns at soloing and providing complementary harmonization for the soloist. While the trombone is underrated and not often recognised as a solo instrument, Ryan Finn had his time to shine with his improvisations and impacting melodies. In a piece called B’s Blues every musician was highlighted starting with Barbadian saxophonist Arturo Tappin. Dr Eckers was the only musician on the second night to play two instruments, he did a flute solo.
Raf Robertson perhaps played three songs altogether but one could almost anticipate his next keys because of the precision and inimitable flair with which he plays.
Music is universal and while words like universal carry a suspicious ring in this age of globalisation, when the musicians who shared the stage at Jazz After Glow come together, the best way to sum up the music is universal!
Samaans Park is ensuring that it’s history will be well written and that awesome names will be mentioned when it is. Jazz After Glow is poised to be the musician’s show for St Lucia Jazz.


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