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The Restless Natives At Headset

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

Kesivan Naidoo is nuts. In a kinda enlightened way, and if you don’t know who he is, make a point of using veto power on the next Dirty Skirts gig and checking established jazz outfit The Restless Natives at some point. Even if you weren’t at last night’s Headset Sessions, you’d still be amazed not just at his Ganesh-like drum skills and the ability of Lee Thompson, Shane Cooper, Jason Reolon and saxophonist Chris Engel to create a bit of a buzz…

Headset Sessions

Held at the Armchair Theatre in Observatory, Cape Town, The Headset Sessions are where you go when you’re tired of jumping around and just wanna chill now. In our travels around the Mother City, Joburg and Durban, Overtone encounters loads of “look-at-me” and “f***in’-listen-to-us-rrrOOOAAAAARRR” artists and bands, but the essence of what these guys are offering is music that spans the volume range. In short, you’ll get the louds and the softs, the complex and the simple, the dynamic spectrum.

The Restless Natives. Restless bunch, really….
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At points, dreadlocked double-bassist Shane Cooper was ping-ponging his strings with a drumstick. Keyboardist Reolon tweaks his volume incessantly within songs to find the perfect level for the phrase, and Thompson played a backing, harmonising role effectively.

Chris ‘Afro’ Engel leapt off from the get-go, flipping between a vintage-looking alto and a lustrous bass sax (may be wrong about this – comments?), and grabbing the limelight and the flashes of a piranha-like photography crew. The sax is a bonor-ific instrument, and the closest word in the English vernacular to you know what. So the close-up shot photography was basically soft instrument porn with clothes and instruments.

We chilled, seated on the floor, with candlelight and a homely, conversational vibe.To be fairly critical, there were moments in the intimate venue where the drum kit blatantly overpowered the rest of the action, but the sound was tight, real, and live. And maybe a couple more cushions next time, please. But all in all, worth the R30 and the drinks are around R12 a beer. Good crowd, and definitely a weeknight gig.

  • The Headset Sessions are organised by Lee Thompson, and take place on occasional Thursdays at the Independent Armchair Theatre in Observatory, Cape Town.
  • The Restless Natives play every Tuesday at Asoka on Kloof St, Cape Town. Catch what we had to say about them.
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    Headset Sessions: Go Latin

    Thursday, February 21st, 2008

    Headset get a latin jazz twist with the Dan Shout Tribute Band to Antonio Carlos Jobim on Thursday 28th February 2008.

    Influential jazz musician Dan Shout has put together a band of talented Cape Town musicians to play tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim. Dan had always been influenced by this iconic musician and decided to use headset as a platform to form a very special tribute band in his honour.

    Dan Shouts musical talent has taken him around the world. He completed his Masters Degree in Jazz Saxophone Performance from the University of Cape Town in June 2006 graduating Cum Laude and has been touring with the Johnny Clegg Band since playing saxophone and keyboards. Some of his highlights have included performing for the 2006 Soccer World Cup in Germany, the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, Nelson Mandela’s 46664 Concert at Ellis Park and for 100 000 people for Bastille Day in Bastille, Paris 2007.

    The legendary Antonio Carlos Jobim was a Brazilian songwriter and singer. He was prominent behind the development of Boss Nova style and his songs have been performed by many international musicians. One of his most famous hits was ‘The Girl from Ipenema’ which won a Grammy Award. Throughout his career he worked in many influential jazz musicians such as Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra.

    On the night The Dan Shout Tribute Band will perform Antonios Carlos Jobims finest compositions with a twist of jazz. The group features Dan Shout on saxophone, Alvin Dyers on guitar, Shaun Johannes on bass, Mike Horne on drums and Oliver Schenk on percussion. The band will also feature two guest musicians for the night Lee Thomson on trumpet and Natascha Roth on vocals.

    Norwegian jazz duo Streifenjunko are going to open for the Dan Shout tribute band. The 2 members Eivind Lønning and Espen Reinertsen are renowned for their improvisation skills, clearly influenced by European contemporary composers like Giacinto Scelsi, Salvatore Sciarrino and Helmut Lachenmann.

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