JACOB COLLIER | London, Barbican

Not stifled or encumbered by the Guardian having labelled him ‘jazz’s new messiah’, Jacob Collier approached an expectant Barbican with geekish self-ease. The transition from YouTube star to EFG London Jazz Festival performer appeared seamless as a live visual display recreated the impact of his online offerings whilst he multi-tracked piano, synths, bass guitar and drum kit with tiers of polyrhythmic percussion. A cluster of Collier’s faces filled the screen behind him, beaming and serenading the audience as he unlocked a previously hidden groove lurking deep in Bacharach’s ‘Close to You’.

Amongst his choice of covers, Collier’s reinterpretation of Brian Wilson’s ‘In My Room’ proved particularly apt: bounding around the stage in cow print t-shirt and rainbow trousers, he had the energy of a child ensconced in their bedroom with illimitable creativity and a hurried excitement to explore and innovate.

An entrancing piano rendition of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Lately’ demonstrated that he could have justified a solo show with his vocals and a single instrument alone. Notwithstanding his evident instrumental mastery, it’s his constantly shifting re-harmonisations and chromatic re-shuffleing of familiar melodies that define him.

Whether or not he’s the messiah, he’s certainly a very naughty talented boy.

Check out Jacob’s latest gigs and projects at http://www.jacobcollier.co.uk/

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