Tuesday 17 November 2015

On Stage: Taxiwars at Bitterzoet Amsterdam

Of course Tom Barman is known for one of Belgium's finest bands dEUS, but he keeps himself busy with numerous other projects. We learned about his newest project Taxiwars at the Into The Great Wide Open Festival last September. Their performance there sure tasted like more so we headed to Bitterzoet to get more.

Taxiwars at Bitterzoet Amsterdam, November 13 2015

The cosy venue has filled up quite nicely and we're eager to see this band play. The combination of exciting jazz with Barman's lyrics and vocals are simply a great match. Indeed again the band is convincing and plays a fired up show with plenty to enjoy. Saxophone player Robin Verheyen is mostly playing his tenor sax. The one time he wants to play his soprano it doesn't cooperate and he decides to play part of the song on his tenor after all. It doesn't matter since Verheyen treats us to thrilling solo's that sometimes are crazy free jazz and other times are bop style pieces. But all of the time he knows how to keep it interesting.

Completing the combo are contra bass player Nicolas Thys and drum player Antoine Pierre, who play very catchy grooves, which make the songs hard to stand still to. It also enables Barman to embed his vocals into the groove, which works very well. It's wonderful to see how Barman is clearly enjoying making music in this band, judging from the big smile on his face and the freaky dance moves. When the band is playing solos, Barman moves to the stage to let them take the spotlights.

It's a delight to see top musicians like this make such exciting music together and have such a great time at it. Parts of the music is improvised on the spot which keeps them on their toes and gives them the opportunity to surprise each other. It's another example of how exciting and danceable jazz music can be.

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