Apart from seeing Bob James and David Sanborn during the London Jazz festival, the one musician I’d been looking forward to seeing live is Marcus Miller. It is always a pleasure to photograph him and get to hear his compositions. Unlike four years ago when we could photograph the soundcheck and main gig, this time we had restrictions of only shooting the first two songs from the stalls, but who am I to complain? I get to listen to Marcus Miller and get to take his picture with his band.
Speaking of his band, mark my words: you’ll be hearing much more each of them in years to come in their own professional right:
My one regret, though, was not being able to get a decent shot of the amazing guitarist, Adam Agati. Maybe next time.
As for Mr Miller, I salute you!
Thought of the Day
Tí ọ̀rọ̀ ò bá tó ọ̀rọ̀ a kò gbọdọ̀ fi ìtàn balẹ̀.
In other words: If a matter is not serious enough, one shouldn’t go into excessive details about it.
What can I say about Ms Carleen Anderson, pictorially speaking: if you can’t get a decent shot of her within the first 3 minutes of her first number, then you are fresh out of luck! She is just so visually giving as a subject. Covering all 3 songs of her set would have been overkill, so I settled just for one track. Great performance from her, though. I wouldn’t expect anything less from her. :-)
Thought of the day
Àt’oore àt’ìkà, ìkan kì í gbé.
In other words: Neither acts of kindness nor those of wickedness shall be lost. [We reap what we sow]
After my last pictorial encounter with John McLaughlin, I decided that the best cause of action would be to photograph the Remember Shakti gig either from the side stalls or the back of the auditorium at a ram packed Royal Festival Hall.
Apart from Zakir Hussain and Mr McLaughlin, the newer members to the group was Shankar Mahadevan on vocals, Mandolin Shrinivas on…mandolin, and finally Selva Ganesh on the mridangam. For a more comprehensive review, please read The Telegraph’s Ivan Hewett’s review.
Thought of the day
Mímì lẹpọ̀n àgbò ńmì, kò lè já.
In other words: The ram’s testicles are merely dangling, they can’t fall off. [Don’t give up!]
You wait months for a couple of legends to be on stage at the same time, and then you’re offered with three!
I’ve always been a huge, HUGH fan of Bob James. Then I heard his collaboration with David Sanborn on the 1986 album ‘Double Vision‘, and I was hooked. So, you can have an idea of the kind of anticipation I had to see these giants on stage together, touring with a new album called ‘Quartette Humaine‘ and then to also find out that Steve Gadd would be on drums. THE Steve Gadd! Yessir, no ‘24-hour man-flu now going 48 hours‘ was not going to best me in battle to see these guys!
If you’re familiar with my blog, you know that of all the venues to photograph at, The Barbican is the most challenging. This is due to the seating plans of the auditorium, and I think the convenience for photographers was the last thing on the architect’s mind. If I had been at the main performance, this is the kind of angle shots I would be able to get:
So, whenever possible, we try to get permission to photograph during sound-check. It’s the only practical way to get a variation of shots, especially when it’s a quartet size and upwards. The downside , however, is that the musicians are dressed casually because it’s just a rehearsal. But, hey! It is what it is.
Meeting David Sanborn was a real honour. He took the time out to talk to myself and another photographer, and he was just giving. So much so that when management wanted us not to shoot during rehearsals, he responded by saying, “Nah, leave them alone. They’re with me!” There with me?!?!? Do you know how rare it is for photographers to have a musician stick up for them??? I salute you, Mr Sanborn.
And on that light note, here are a few more shots taken during the sound-check:
Thought of the Day
Bí orí ṣe tó ló ṣe ńfọ́ olórí /
In other words: As a head is in size, so it aches the owner. [Challenges are not unusual; everyone has it.]
Friday saw the start to this year’s EFG London Jazz Festival. With so many gigs to choose from, it was a no-brainer as to which show I’d want to photograph. Step right up, South African trumpeter titan Hugh Masakela, performing on stage with American pianist Larry Willis.
It was amazing to hear their rendition of Herbie Hancock’ s Canteloupe Island . That said, after this track, I had to leave the auditorium immediately. It’s no fun when there are a group of photographers all kneeling down to get the shot and trying not to irritate the punters (we always do!), and most importantly, not put the musicians off.
I’ve just returned from the Rick Ross gig at the Indigo2 where I couldn’t figure out where the first ‘song’ ended and the second ‘track’ began. It didn’t really matter; before I realised it, all of the photographers were chased out of the pit, as is customary.
As hard as I’m trying not to reinforce the stereotype to the obvious, there was the obligatory plethora of wholesome choice swearing & showboating chest-thumping at such ‘hip-hop’ gathering: young whipper-snappers strutting around with a £7.50 beverage and making sure that the drink lasts; DJs’ & MCs’ screaming at the crowd to “make some noise”; you get the picture . That didn’t bother me because I have come to expect this form of subcultured tribalism (yes, I studied a semester of Sociology at Uni!) within this genre of music at concerts.
No, what really made me mad was that I missed an approved date (sanctioned by the missus, may I add!!) with Ms Halle Berry. I’d been informed that Rick Ross would be coming on stage at 9.10. With that information, I gathered that I could catch Halle in her film ‘The Call‘ showing just around the corner within the o2 Arena. My idea was to book the 9.15 screening of film, probably miss the ads and trailers but will definitely be ready for the start. I was an idjit to believe Rick Ross, like any of the current generation of hip-hop artists, would come on stage at his given time slot. 9.15 my a**e (Hashtag: #takingtherick)! He finally made an appearance at 10. 10pm, thus crushing any hope to see Halle for some time to come. Oh well…
And as for 5 minutes I spent at the gig? Meh:
I will say, though, that this dude has no scruples in showing off his rotund belly and red pants! I’ll give the show a C+ For showmanship!!
Thought of the day:
Bí a bá yin ìrèké tó dùn, ó yẹ ká yin etí odò tó ti hù.
In other words: If we praise the sugarcane for its sweetness, so we should the riverbank as well.