By Lara Marto
As always, the French Cultural Center wisely picks the musicians it invites to perform in Amman to educate and entertain the public.
Manu Codjia, the well known articulate jazz guitarist who is “among the most active sidemen on the French jazz scene and one of the most original guitarists playing jazz anywhere” – according to All About Jazz – performed Thursday December 3rd at the Royal Cultural Center at 8:00pm along with Phillipe Garcia on drums and Michel Benita on double bass.
The show started a bit late, as always keeping the audience waiting at the door. A good crowd was anxious to listen to what Manu has to present. As the show went on Manu introduced himself and the band with a soft delicate voice and said that they usually play their own compositions but like to play a few known songs such as “Redemption Song”. The band played this piece in an interesting way, adding their own style to it.
The Trio was talented; very professional and of fluency. Manu played a non conventional jazz on his electric guitar going loud at times and soft at others accompanied by the eccentric rhythms of the Double Bass and Drums. The overall show was repetitive and unfamiliar to the Jazz ear of the common Jordanian. The crowd was slowly leaving the show after the first couple of pieces although the famous songs were played very nicely.
Though musically un-captivating, too loud, and ‘noisy’ at times the show was performed by undoubtedly brilliant musicians who know their instruments very well. They experimented on stage all sorts of plucking and tabbing producing different sounds entertaining the few appreciative ones in the audience.
In my opinion the Trio lacks a wind instrument like a trumpet or a soprano saxophone giving it some stability and familiarity to the ear. But most probably this is what Manu is trying to avoid. This music genre of contemporary art, I must say, is definitely an acquired taste.
Check out Manu Codjia’s biography and music here.