The Soweto Kinch Trio, Nicholas Payton XXX and Tin Men & The Telephone all redefined jazz music in their very own way on Thursday, June 27, Day 8 of the Ottawa Jazz Festival.
The Soweto Kinch Trio, comprised of Shaney Forbes on drums, Nick Jurd on double bass and Soweto Kinch on tenor/alto saxophone and vocals, perfomed live at the NAC’s Fourth Stage as part of the festival’s Improv Invitational Series. A good crowd gathered at the venue for the opportunity to see the Birmingham-based trio perform live for the second time in Ottawa.
Kinch, a talented young saxophone player and rapper, established the Soweto Kinch Trio in 2001, breaking traditional boundaries by combining hip-hop beats and witty raps to contemporary jazz music. Together on stage, the musicians performed original compositions from the new album The Legend Of Mike Smith, a rich and unique compilation inspired by the 7 deadly sins. They opened the set with the piece Invidia, the latin word for envy, on which the crowd participated by shouting the chorus “When Will I Be Gettin Mine?”. The Soweto Kinch Trio continued with the songs Vacuum, The Board Game, Sweeping Change, Escape the Vomitorium, Gula and Traffic Lights, switching back and forth between fast-paced hip-hop tracks to smoother jazz-infused melodies with great ease.
The trio appeared in synch with one another, clearly demonstrating a strong group synergy that is essential for improv. Kinch’s musical talent and skills are a real treat to the ear for saxophone lovers and his charisma and on-stage presence made for a truly refreshing performance.
Meanwhile, at the NAC’s Studio, Nicholas Payton XXX took the stage with his musicians Vicente Archer on bass and Lenny White on drums. The talented New Orleans African-American trumpetist and pianist offered a remarkable 90-minute set comprised of his unique take on “African-American music”. The versatile musician performed original compositions off of his latest recording opening with The Backward Step and following with Triptych, The Days of Wine and Roses, a beautiful rendition of Keith Jarrett’s No Lonely Nights, and Frankie and Johnny.
Demonstrating impressive technique on the trumpet and piano, a quiet Payton concluded the performance with Seeds of Heat on which he unveiled his smooth soulful voice. A true virtuoso belonging to a long lineage of talented New Orleans artists, The Grammy Award winner humbly thanked Ottawa for their support and presence and reminded the crowd of the beauty and flexibility behind modern jazz music.
Over at Confederation Park, headliner Boz Scaggs rocked the Main Stage in front of a packed crowd who clearly enjoyed the performance. The San Francisco-based singer-songwriter and guitarist performed lots of popular material including opening song Runnin’ Blue as well as new tunes from his latest album Memphis namely Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl and Rainy Night in Memphis. The set list also featured the ballad Sierra written for a deceased friend, Georgia, Gone Baby Gone and a nice cover of the traditional American folk song Corrina, Corrina. The crowd went wild as he performed Lido Shuffle which lead Scaggs onto a 3-song encore finishing the set with Loan Me a Dime. The 69-year old still has plently of energy to boot and it certainly showed last night in Ottawa.
Following the headliner’s performance, festival-goers had the choice between checking out French jazz singer-songwriter and guitarist Nicolas Repac on the OLG Stage as part of the After Dark Series, or head over to the NAC’s Studio to catch Tin Men & The Telephone, which Eventful Capital chose to cover.
Tin Men & The Telephone performing live at the NAC’s Studio as part of the 2013 Ottawa Jazz Festival
Tin Men & The Telephone, a young trio from Amsterdam which offers an unconventional take on modern jazz music, performed for the first time in Ottawa as part of their inaugural visit to Canada. The group, comprised of pianist Tony Roe, bassist Lucas Dols and drummer Bobby Petrov, were initially set to perform at 11:30pm on the OLG Stage, but a last-minute change of schedule moved their performance to 10:15 pm in the NAC’s Studio. This unexpected change resulted in fewer people attending the show, but a decent crowd still managed to make it to the performance.
Tin Men & The Telephone were clearly on a mission to please and surprise. The trio presented an original and creative audio-visual experience performing original compositions from their debut album titled Moetjenou?! including the pieces Danse de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes, Drummersliketotalk, and KPN Klantenservice a humorous dedication to Amsterdam’s telephone service provider.
Their unique approach to music is interspersed with sounds from everyday life like a ringing telephone, voicemail messages, and cows. At one point, they even managed to fool the audience to think their was a technical issue with sound due to static interference, but this was all part of the show’s humor.
The musicians certainly kept the crowd on the edge of their seats as amused festival-goers wondered what unpredictable move they would do next. Not only did the trio offer a unique and fun performance, they also skillfully played their respective instrument, slowing things down and speeding them back up again like nobody’s business.
Day 8 of the Ottawa Jazz Festival was a definite highlight for Eventful Capital and the top pick of the day ultimately goes to Tin Men & The Telephone with the Soweto Kinch Trio coming in a close second.
The Ottawa International Jazz Festival continues until July 1 at various locations.