Genting International Jazz Festival 2008 : Night 2

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Event: Genting International Jazz Festival 2008
Date: April 5, 2008 (Saturday)
Venue: Genting International Showroom, Genting – City of Entertainment

It was an easy start on the second night with Key Element’s rendition of Do Re Mi. They reminded me a lot of Australia’s Idea of North, but who could not, what with them being one of the few Jazz groups out there to take up A Capella instead of an instrument. And besides having the soaring sopranos, tender tenors, alluring altos, and beaty basses, there is not much one can do but to add unnecessary choreographs to spice things up.

I cannot really say that Key Elements is the best thing out there, but I do appreciate the ways they try to capture the audience’s hearts.

Key Elements @ GIJF.

Their covers outnumbered their originals, but they were covers of famous tunes from the East and the West, so they definitely got the crowd reminiscing with the late Teresa Teng’s The Moon Represents My Heart, Michael Buble’s Spiderman Theme Song, Barry Manilow’s Meet Me Midnight, and other famous tunes in French, Spanish and Japanese. They did the cheesiest dance moves too, although I think they would have done well anyway without the moves, but hey, it kept me entertained.

Tangora @ GIJF.

Tangora was not lying when she said she has the best musicians in her group. One may find her cocky at first, but you sort of change your mind when you see her go on stage and sing her soul out. Her set was a rainbow of percussion blended with passionate piano that was full of Jazz. The crescendos worked well backing up her soaring and sensual voice.

It was a fusion of Caribbean, Latin and French music. It was a beach affair with the ever loved steelpan and the craziest piano solos I have ever heard. (Mario Canonge, I bow to your awesomeness and I wish I have fingers like yours). It was like slipping into a Hawaiian outfit with a glass of cocktail while basking in the warm sun at the beach, with Tangora’s voice like crashing waves under the illuminating moonlight.

Neader\'s Jazz Band @ GIJF.

From the peaceful retreat of the Caribbeans, hop on the time machine and get transported back to the days when doing the twist is actually cool. Neander’s Jazz Band brought home the New Orleans Blues that was much alike to Miles Davis with their serenading trumpet and trombone, well-rounded clarinet and bellowing double bass.

When Hendrik Bay Holler did a solo on his double bass, it was as if he was strumming on our heartstrings and any girl could just melt at his feet. May I also add that he looks a lot like Jonathan Rhys-Meyer, which added to the sex appeal. When Per Neander was not captivating hearts with his trumpet, he was singing like a one Louis Armstrong. It was like Armstrong came back to life in the form of this trumpeter, and of course, Neander could not resist to sing the ever famous and loved What a Wonderful World during their encore.

Schalk Joubert & The Four Continent Sextet @ GIJF.

There came a storm when Schalk Joubert took the stage with his Four Continent Sextet. Entitled El Nino, their opening track was a plethora of a perfect storm. Shannon, the saxophonist, was a feisty character as she translated all of her into her instrument and brought forth a whirpool and lightning. (May I add she is also the hottest saxophonist I have ever seen too; I couldn’t keep my eyes off her). There was the heartwarming trombone like the calm before a storm, and the distorted trumpet that came like a rushing tide of flood. There was the bass like the roaring waves and eventual pitter-patters of raindrops. I thought Joubert was insane putting together a band from diversed continents, and now that I have heard them live, I think he is just plain mad. Heh.

Jazz Jamaica @ GIJF.

Jazz Jamaica was a group of musicians with a mission: to nurture the future generation through music. And here, the youngsters got to strut their stuffs. They brought over the distinguishable Reggae beat that was mixed with Jazz. Easygoing backing of the double bass and crashing cymbals, and the simplest guitar ticks and repetitive piano to go with the screeching band of brass. Dreadlockers got to let their hair down when the Festival came to a close that night, swinging to the familiar beats of Bob Marley.

The band featured the (supposedly) famous Mryna Hague from Jamaica. (I wouldn’t know, seeing that I wasn’t really into Jazz music and the Jamaican music scene). Age did no harm to her well-preserved vocal as she reached the lowest of low notes gracefully. The diva also performed her 1960s hit My Boy that brought such comfort to the crowd, you just know that it was going to be a perfect bittersweet ending you will bring home with you. That in months to come, you would still hear the tiniest echoes of the performers at the back of your mind, and though foggy, you would still always remember that the Festival was just simply awesome.

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