Gogo Penguin bring electro-jazz to World Cafe Live
Gogo Penguin | photo by Matthew Shaver | http://www.brightloud.com/

I’m a list fan.Top 10 lists, bottom 10 lists, doesn’t matter.When it comes to music, outside of the annual, quarterly, monthly, bi-weekly, and Bey-weekly lists, my favorite is the Mercury Prize shortlist.It’s a prestigious list that celebrates British and Irish musicians, and it is the place where I discovered a little trio called Gogo Penguin.

When I first saw the name, the immediate thought that popped in to my head was “quirky indie rock band.”A tried and true formula for success.I quickly discovered that I was deliciously incorrect.  Gogo Penguin is, at their heart, a jazz band.

Chris Illingworth on piano, double bassist Nick Blacka, and drummer Rob Turner hail from Manchester UK.Their formula, on paper, is standard stuff, but the final product is far enough removed to render the “jazz” moniker as an afterthought.The blood of decades of British innovation in electronic music flows through their veins.From scattered breakbeats, to melodic piano riffs that would live at home in the break down, and fluttery bass lines that transcend what the instrument is supposed to be capable, these guys have nailed their sound.

There is a mechanical madness that floats through their songs, something that is a wonder to behold played live.Each musician is a master of their instrument, but no one part takes precedence over another.They are not vying for attention, but working as a cohesive whole.That whole in one moment makes me feel the wrought iron emotion of the first time I heard Aphex Twin, and in the next breath they have me in a head space that was previously occupied by Vince Guaraldi.The World Cafe crowd was small, but very appreciative that these guys even made it out here.To punctuate just how talented they are, their genre-blending style took them from small clubs, to Mercury Shortlist, to Blue Note multi-album deals in just 2 records.Here’s hoping that this is still just the beginning.

Related Content
View All Related Content

No news added recently