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Trio Of Oz

Trio Of Oz, Market Hall, Brecon, 06/08/2010 (part of Brecon Jazz Festival)

Photography: Photograph by Ade Lynch

by Ian Mann

August 15, 2010


Guest contributor Ade Lynch with a brief alternative look at this concert, which is also included in Ian's "Friday at Brecon Jazz Festival" feature.

Omar Hakim “Trio of Oz” at the Hay Festival, Brecon, 6th August 2010

by Ade Lynch

Omar Hakim attracted an almost full house against stiff competition from concurrent gigs (including ground breaking BBC award winners Get The Blessing) at the Brecon Jazz festival this week with his Trio Of Oz outfit.

The drum wizard was accompanied by fingers with untold speed and stamina from seductive latino style pianist Rachel Z plus Maeve Royce with a refreshing “big is modern and sexy” approach on electric upright bass. The trio narrated a very relaxed, and at opportune moments very frenetic, 90 minutes of “jazz takes on pop tunes” featuring music that Omar has been involved with and tunes others who are/ were good pop artists: Bjork, The Killers, Coldplay, Duke Ellington (in his time!). We love them too of course.

Omar does his homework and his knowledge of and taste in his past employers’ catalogues is impressive as he reveals interpretations by his accomplished New York trio. Who else could have remembered “Driven to Tears” by Blue Turtles maestro Sting?

Trio Of Oz are relaxed and fluid and play to their strengths but lack the spark of originality enjoyed by the writers of their material that made them the people we travelled many a brick road to see.The skipping trio enjoy a smooth journey and fully commit to an energetic recital covering songs borrowing heavily from the originals but without the vocals we all love. A consistent and precise demonstration, evocative and engaging with a lone and truly phenomenal drum solo but would they have been even better with a singer and some home made apple pie songs?

Thanks to the staff at the Market Hall who conducted a professional show and ejected several drunken invaders who did not appear amongst the autograph hunters queuing for a chat with the very amiable musicians.

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