Smith’s Alternative Friday 27 September 2019
Sydney Jazz outfit Arabesk took the early set at Smith’s last Friday night at the start of their short South Coast tour (they’re warming up for one of their regular Japan tours taking place later in October). If you haven’t seen these guys live yet you really have missed out. Anchored by Chris Frazier on double bass and by guitarist Yannick Koffi, drummer (and voice of the band) Calvin Welch gets to provide some extravagant flourishes as well as nailing the beat to the floor. And that’s before we get to violinist Veren Grigorov. Mild-mannered and approachable off-stage, he is the dynamic core of Arabesk’s on-stage image.
Not surprisingly, as they are a jazz band after all, they can take existing classics like “Gadge” off their earlier Front Ear album, teasing and extending it while adding real live power, making these pieces true tours de force. They deserve a bigger stage for future Canberra shows, but in the absence of that I’ll be coming back to see them at Smiths’ anyway!
Neil Doody, ArtSounds FM - Canberra
Photo, B Natural Productions