By John Owoo
James Town – Accra
Adam Larson Quartet, a New York (USA) based jazz group, last Sunday rocked James Town, a suburb of Accra with vigorous tunes that simply drew cheers from a largely local crowd alongside catcalls and whistles.
Performing with amazing energy, saxophonist / leader Adam Larson, bassist Martin Nevin, drummer Jason Burger and pianist Steven Feifke exhibited a magnetic stage presence as compositions by Larson and others flowed with relative ease.
With superlative artistry, the group sustained the attention of the audience while demonstrating their individual skills through refreshing solos that gradually fused into a greater whole under the direction of Larson.
Performing primarily original music as well as select arrangements from composers around the world, the band finds influence from musicians as varied as John Coltrane, Bach, The Beatles, Maurice Ravel, and Snoop Dogg among others – all of whom contribute to the Quartet’s unique sound.
Earlier, Nungua based Kusun Ensemble together with Adesa Taloi delighted the audience with traditional /contemporary music and dance. Clad in colourful costumes, the dancers moved in circles as arms and bodies turned in various directions with controlled intensity.
Led by composer, arranger and multi instrumentalist, Nii Tettey Tetteh, the group surprised the audience with slow and measured drum lines with guitar accompaniments while enticing the audience with lyrics in the Ga language.
In an equally engaging performance, High School Band, a youthful group led by David Grahl treated the crowd, which included officials from the US Embassy in Accra to jazzy melodies.
With voices that cleaved through the night air like birds in flight, the two vocalists managed to endear themselves to the hearts of members of the audience as guitars, keyboards, drums and traditional percussive instruments lurked in the background.
Sponsored by the US Embassy in Accra and put together by the Institute for Music and Development, the performance formed part of “American Music Abroad”, a programme that ensures that American music is introduced in various parts of the world.