November 14, 2006

Jazz funk in Shibuya

Monday night saw me down in Shibuya to see a concert billed as a Jazz Funk Expo 2006, featuring The Boston Horns from, well, Boston, and The Baker Brothers from that funk stronghold otherwise known as Bournemouth.

The Baker Brothers were on first, with their own inimitable hard-punching funk. There was plenty of clowning around on stage as they played (almost Ealing comedy), and they were clearly enjoying every moment of it. Vanessa Freeman guested on vocals for some of the tracks (as she does on their latest album), adding some more soul and depth to their sound. They worked the crowd brilliantly, and seemed to have a few friends there too, which really helped the atmosphere.

After a short break, The Boston Horns were on, playing some very slick, tight funk. They have been around for twenty years or so, but this was their first trip to Japan, so they were there with their cameras taking snaps of the crowd! I also got the feeling that they probably usually play to an older crowd back in the States, as they seemed a little unsure of the Club Quattro crowd at first. They soon got into their groove though, and they got better and better throughout the set. The first encore was really funky interpretation of 'Crosstown Traffic', and then The Baker Brothers were invited back on stage for an extended jam encore.

Enormous fun, and at almost three and a half hours, superb value for money. My ears are still ringing this morning.

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