Jazz Legend Miguel Atwood Ferguson
Last night I had the priviledge of seeing one of the most revolutionary 'musical masterminds'....the brilliant Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. If you don't know much about Miguel and his music, all you have to do is type his name into google or youtube to see the long list of people he has worked with. It will probably make you cry. Partnering with the guys from Hiatus Kaiyote (and friends), they jammed out to a very keen crowd at the Hifi bar – just seconds into Miguel walking onto stage the crowd was singing his praises and the place was well and truly alive. Good start.
Now look, I'll be the first to admit that ordinarily I don't gravitate towards string intruments. It's not that I don't like them, I just think that over time I've pigeon-holed 'strings' with strictly classical sounding music. HOWEVER, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson flips all of that upside down and back around again. Taking on songs from Coltrane, the Beatles and of course original compositions of his own, he led the band into what was a spectacular night of musical arrangements! Guest vocalists Nai-Palm and Elana Stone also joined in the fun creating some spine tingling moments of the night. The sound was a kaleidoscope of jazz, groove, beats, experimentalism, edge and intensity all spun into one. I was completely engaged with his undeniable presence on the stage.
For me, I really love watching musicians who physically throw themselves into their art. I guess as an audience member you want to visually enjoy something just as much as you do sonically. Miguel Atwood-Ferguson holds his own on stage. He leads with his body language and really gels the people together who are on stage with him. I found myself in moments completely zoned in on him, watching and listening intently to his playing – even in the times where he stood away from the spotlight. He is a true musician, director and leader in his field and it was obvious that the band really trusted him, as did he with them. Being the first time he has ventured out to Australia, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson told the crowd how much he loves being here, saying: “Next time I come back, I want to take at least a month” - I'm sure any of his fans would happily have him stay here anytime!
The night also included music from the support act 'Myele Manzanza Trio'. These guys brought some real groove! Myele Manzanza (drummer) teamed up with Scott Maynard on double bass and Dj/ producer/ keyboardist Mark de Clive-Lowe. Doing tracks from both Myele's and Mark's' work was the sounding combinations of hiphop beats, smooth jazzy rhodes and latin flavours thrown in there too. Pretty much my favourite musical cocktail. I've been listening to Mark de Clive-Lowe's music for quite a while now and after watching him absolutely belt the life out of the keys last night...I love him even more. The trio brought life, vibe and energy to the room and kicked off our night at the Hifi with a solid..BANG!