“Intelligence is the state of your awareness”. A concept that will forever resonate with me alongside my appreciation for the fiery passion brought out during the Omar Edwards & Family performance on Sunday, May 16. More than a performance it was an experience I had the pleasure of taking part in.
This past year, I had a lot of time on my hands. Being a singer/songwriter myself, I took that time to broaden my knowledge and repertoire of music outside the scopes of pop and r&b. I found myself incredibly interested in jazz music. Moreso, the improvisation aspect of it. Watching Ella Fitzgerald perform improv scat on Youtube is one thing and seeing that kind of magic in person is another. Every musician talks about having a passion for what they do. An appreciation for the way music speaks to them. Seeing Mr.Edwards tap along to his band was one of the few times I could truly see the connection between him and the music.
The show started with a meditation session. Honestly, I was confused at first and thought he was playing it to get us in a mindset to fully appreciate his performance. All of a sudden, I hear him tapping along to the rhythm of this lady’s voice. Matching every inflection, every breath, every dynamic change. All he was doing was tapping his feet but somehow managed to capture the entirety of the essence presented in the guided meditation. The band gradually came in, accompanying the feel of her voice with the feel of their play. The intro itself was a one of a kind enjoyment and then came the main event. First we heard bass. I could see the wheels turning in the bass player’s head as he cranked out a groovy bassline. The drummers were able to immediately match the groove with a steady, but interesting beat. Then came electric, and some keys and suddenly we were watching a masterpiece in the works.
What I saw was musicmaking brought to life. Throughout this entire production, Mr. Edwards is tapping to the bassline, picking up with the drums, then sliding along with the added chord progression from the keyboard and finally putting on a show with endless mind blowing climaxes. I’ve been dying to be able to watch live shows again and watching Omar Edwards and the band made the year and a half wait worth it.
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