No wonder Jazzy B have such a dedicated clientele – with the consistently brilliant music showcased there, you’re looking at some good nights. This Friday saw Marios Takoushis, a film composer and musician from London, guesting on piano. He was accompanied by George Krasides on tenor sax, Lakis Karapatakis on bass and George Koulas on drums. They play again on the 3rd January; if you missed it this time, I can tell you that you most definitely should not miss it again.
One of the great things about this performance was the variety of their repertoire. I’ve heard it said that jazz is music for musicians only; your average man on the street becomes quickly bored by long pieces seemingly lacking in structure and featuring endless solos. Personally I think this is rubbish; and certainly this quartet proved that jazz can be and is enjoyed by everyone. The set started with some original jazzed up versions of traditional Greek songs, Herbie Hancock got a rearrangement, and there was jazz funk (with some rather groovy slap bass going on), amongst the other numbers in their two hour-long sets. The musicians obviously do not take themselves too seriously, despite their talent: for instance, Giorgo Krasides was apparently in a festive mood. Not only did he sneak the riff of “Jingle Bells” into one of his excellent solos, he also unexpectedly took to the mike to growl a bluesy rendition of “Santa Claus is coming to town”.
The standard of the music at Jazzy B is so high that it’s taken for granted. Marios Takoushis, the special guest, was easily matched by the regulars, and their collaboration was seamless. One of the things I love about jazz is watching the musician’s faces; their enjoyment is so palpable it’s impossible not to feel the depth of the bass, the bend of the sax, the sizzle of the cymbals in your own soul. Call it sound, call it sex, call it God, call it what you want; it was there on Friday night and it felt pretty damn good.