Wednesday’s EFG London Jazz Festival performance at XOYO saw Kris Bowers (Winner – 2011 Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition) joined by the guitar pedigree of the awesome Adam Agati (Marcus Miller / Ludacris / Lalah Hathaway).
Mostly playing material from his latest album Heroes + Misfits, Kris’ personal engagement with his songs shone through with a genuinely passionate performance. One of the main highlights was an expressive rendition of Forget-er, with Kris accompanied by a haunting recording of the talented Julia Easterlin, with the aid of musical gizmos.
Kris’ respect for his fellow performers was evident and fortuitous for the crowd, as it allowed Adam Agati to play some truly astounding, virtuosic solos. It’s clear that Adam is a force to be reckoned with — it’s great to have such a prodigious talent appearing in two bands at one festival (he’s in town as part of Marcus Miller’s band).
The only hiccup in the show was a slightly unmagnanimous song restart due to an over enthusiastic audience insisting on joining in with the clapping section. After they had been calmed, the set picked up where it had left off with a loop untainted by accidental syncopation.
Regardless, the venue was packed and the crowd clearly enjoyed every minute of the otherwise flawless performance — truly a compliment to the superb lineup of this year’s festival.