Maurice Gordon trio 'jazzes' up Redbones
Published: Tuesday | August 18, 2009
Maurice Gordon. At moments with eyes closed, they seemed oblivious to the presence of their audience as they wrapped themselves in the fragrance of the 'jazzmine'. - Peta-Gaye Clachar/Staff Photographer
There was no emcee, no artiste prancing or jumping across the stage, nor instructions given on how to dance. Just three musicians, a music teacher and two of his former students, and their instruments making pure-sounding music.
The event was 'Jazzin' on the Rock', and it was clear that the lovers of jazz music who showed up at Redbones the Blues Café on Braemar Avenue, last Saturday were jazzin'. Transfixed, they listened to each note and moved as the beat dictated, their hypnosis broken only when the musical instruments of the three-member band, Young Lions 2k9, paused between selections and at the end of each segment.
The music was easy and relaxing. Maurice Gordon, tutor in the department of guitar and string at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMC) and his former students, Jeremy Ashbourne and Alvis Reid, were wonderful as they played jazz in standard, funky, ballads and bossonova, from Brazil to the USA. The titles included Oleo, Moonlight in Vermont, St Thomas and Bluemoon.
But it was during their serving of Watermelon where their skills and talents were really on show. Ashbourne used the sticks and brush to evoke sweet jazzy sounds from his drums and cymbals. It was mesmerising to watch him use the brush to tweak the cymbals at different points (in the song and on the instrument itself) to produce gently floating sounds.
Gordon and Reid were on guitars, the latter alternating with the bass and Ashbourne on drums. At moments, with eyes closed, they seemed oblivious to the presence of their audience as they wrapped themselves in the fragrance of the 'jazzmine'.
The audience was also given a taste of Gordon's original track titled Mek The Music Flow, an uptempo piece best described as a fusion of mento and jazz.
'Jazzin on the Rock', organised by Gordon, was initially intended to be a birthday celebration for advertising mogul, Harold Butler, but later adjusted to an improvised jazz gig. And in the words of Gordon, he just "grabbed the youngsters (Ashbourne and Reid) who are on summer vacation to come and play".
Both Ashbourne and Reid are students at Vienna Music Institute in Austria. Ashbourne will enter his final year while Reid goes into his second year next month. Both also play for the Digicel Rising Stars Competition.
Also making an appearance was Shawn Richards, another former student of Gordon at EMC. Richards, who is presently on a music scholarship in Venezuela, entertained the audience with Sweet and Bob Marley's I Want to Love You. But when the soft-spoken guitarist was asked by the audience for more, he politely declined and exited the stage.
The curtains finally came down on 'Jazzin' on the Rock' with an encore, Freedom. A member of the audience summed up the evening's affair when he greeted Gordon at the end of the show with "It was awesome". And for Gordon, whose rewards come through the playing of music, that was 'jazzin' to the ears.