Monday, April 28, 2008

Something blue in the city...

The Alliance Francaise often brings in artists from different parts of the world (mostly the French-speaking world, bien sur) for free exhibitions and concerts. This Friday, to stave off another case of the Weekend Wail (There's Nothing to Dooooo.....) I went off to watch a group called Trio Ivoire play some Jazz.

They were fantastic. Not all of their songs were particularly to my taste, but the musicians were very proficient and I always get a goosebumps when I hear a particularly good piece of music live (I've experimented with the canned stuff, rarely raises even a shiver). The fusion of Sahelian sound with Jazz worked really well in some pieces, less well in pieces where there was too little structure and notes were clanging all over the place. The group treated us to a mind-blowing moment when the pianist and the Balophon (Marimba) players engaged in a playful call-and-response for about five minutes while the drummer took a break before he jumped back into the music with a mischievous build-up of beats...Whew. So of course I ended up parting with Tshs 18,000 for their CD in appreciation.

I also got to bump into some friends, a lovely couple the male half of whom plays the bass guitar in a brand new blues band. They performed at the Irish pub a few weeks ago (good crowd, suspect venue) and they were a revelation. Especially the lead guitarist whose solos have to be heard to be believed, and whose voice was a pleasant surprise- not too smooth, not too derivative, just himself and just right for the blues. The band, which has no name, will be playing again on May 10th. Stay tuned for an update.

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