Friday, December 26, 2008

From the Subway to the Jazz Club

This past Tuesday I had the pleasure of catching the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble in a sold out show at the Jazz Standard. HBE is a 9 piece band comprised mostly of horns performing with a Jazz sound heavily inspired by Hip Hop. Think: Hip Hop Big Band. I was inspired to see them when I happen to catch them down in the Union Square subway station just days before. Now I see lots of live music on the street, subways and stations all the time but for once I was drawn by the music and with the acoustic ability of the underground station to let sound travel it was undeniable. Their sound was so big and true that I felt myself emotionally engaged and "hypnotized" if you will, (I would love the chance to catch a skilled MC with a real story to tell at the microphone with these guys). I was pumped by the high energy and vocal range of the horns, especially the thump of the tuba backed up by the slick drum licks and percussion section. Check "Balicky Bon", "War" and "Hypnotic" off their NY Live album and you'll hear what I'm nodding about. I definitely picked up what they were putting down literally, in the form of 2 CD's.

In this digital world its a breath of fresh air to be reminded where music comes from. Once again I've been touched with the sweet sound of live music.

At your service,

The Boulevardist

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