The Prickle (@ThePrickle) November 27, 2017
The Prickle has kept a keen eye and an enthusiastic ear on Jacob Collier for the last few years: his dazzling opener for Terence Blanchard at EFG London’s Jazz Festival in 2015; that near-secret toe-in-the-water trio gig; the staggering sounds of his double Grammy award winning album In My Room; the Quincy Jones celebration Prom that stormed the Royal Albert Hall. The Guardian were the first to label him as ‘jazz’s new messiah’, but we like to think of ourselves as his most enthusiastic disciple.
Irrespective of our trumpet-blowing, Jacob Collier is now firmly established as the big thing in jazz and its future. The unique feat of a one-man show layering and looping six instruments live on stage, coupled with superimposed visuals generating an improvised chamber group might have been enough. Creating a whole new vocal-keyboard beast, ‘the harmoniser’, which immediately self-orchestrates a choir of Colliers probably would have done the job too. An approach to harmony that baffles, inspires and enthrals a generation of awe-struck musos should have been plenty. Combine all of this with a musicality that never sacrifices connection for combustion, and it was the whole greedy package that held a Bristol audience captivated on Saturday night.
Whilst Collier’s route in was through the materials of others (Stevie Wonder, Burt Bacharach, Brian Wilson), it is now his own compositions that best showcase his talent. Some crowd participation on Saviour had us grinning, but the real punch of the set was only moments later when Collier’s tender vocal and solo piano on In The Real Early Morning induced glistening eyes and wet cheeks with shattering emotion and vulnerability.
Collier has hinted that the last few shows of this tour will be closure on the current format of the one-man-show he has crafted. Whilst we do our best to contain our excitement for the next chapter, beg/steal/borrow/harmonise your way into a ticket for the remaining dates.
Jacob Collier’s last few tour dates include Cardiff, Manchester and London. Go!