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Friday, March 06, 2009

Otis Taylor - Wellington Jazz Festival 5 March 2009

Despite a few technical hitches with pedals, Otis and Dughter Cassie managed to pull off a great informal blues soaked nite. Cassie, his daughter who plays bass came out singing an a capella version of 'Mona Lisa' before Otis strung up his banjo for a few no.s from his atest 'Recapturing' the banjo. bluegrass this aint as he pointed out this is African music. Otis who originally hails from Chicago later demonstated his Hambones, a knee slapping,rhytm thing which he extended to a song accompanied by two impromtu 'dancers' he'd plucked from a visit to Te Papa earler that day. the guys were on stage performing Haka in tie to Otis' harmonica and Cassie's throbbing bass. An interesting, humerous twist. You couldnt really say that Taylor was all blues but his stuff has appeal at many levels. His version of 'Hey Joe', a rare cover brought the house down, especially the guitar solo performed by one of his band mates ('When BB King plays my songs, I'll ply his"). Taylor uses a throbbing strum, in a cyclic motion to build up the rythm section of his songs, no drums required, although in his case un-needed. He uses distortions, via the elusive wah-wah peddle to create sound scapes ove which come the convention and familiar gravelly vocals and singalong choruses. Initially I was sceptical of his inclusion at a Jazz Festival, as he's more a pop/blues thing. but over all, and given his popularity with the crowd, this was a great and enjoyful choice.

Check our Photo album for more photos of the gig.

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