REVIEW: Oscar Jerome brings experimental jazz reflections to Bangkok

Music-lovers delighted in the talents of Oscar Jerome and his warm up acts Alec Orachi and Scoutland.

The DECOMMUNE venue set the mood, its dusky red glow penetrating the darkness of its intimate space.

First up, a bold Alec Orachi, backed by a 5-member ensemble, skillfully blended jazz, reggae, hip-hop, and R&B sounds. His striking vocal drew us in and he exuded a stage presence of brazen energy despite his youthful looks.

The follow-up act, Scoutland, was a radical jazz quartet. Their improvised instrumental expressions stirred elation in me, as they carried us through each dizzying crescendo.

Eased by the breathing space between acts, we readied ourselves to step up and bask in Oscar Jerome’s flow. His meaningful lines were delivered from the get-go. Starting with “Sun For Someone”, a reflection on the negative impact we have on the planet, wouldn’t human extinction be better? “The Earth will sigh as it watches us die. Along with our belligerence.”

The synergy of each of the band members, immersed us in waves of sound. The bass reverberated through me and I was mesmerised as Jerome synchronised his finger picked guitar solos, in time with sublime poetic rhymes.

We decelerated down in our musical journey, Jerome drove home his introspective lyricism by looking at the duality of our reflections and distortions in ‘The Spoon’.

Then the distinctly catchy chorus of ‘Do You Really’, shifted the crowd energy. We danced and sang to the upbeat lightness of the melody. The lyrics seemed to touch on the fragility of self esteem and ego spoiling a relationship. “It’s kinda hard to be good, good, good enough for you. But it’s even harder to be good enough for me”.

The band members all stepped out, and awaited the demands for one last song. For the encore, they closed with the spirited finale ‘No Need’, which brought cheers from the fans that recognised the Caribbean island style guitar riff that then shifted into full-on percussion heavy Latin jazz, thanks to the enthusiasm of Richie Sweet on the congas. We ended our night on the highs and lows of emotions “We swing like a pendulum. Back and forth…and there’s no need to fight the feeling”.

The evening felt like a jazz exploration. From the distinctly different styles of the two Thai acts Alec Orachi and Scoutland, and completed by the captivating Oscar Jerome. Watch this space, as they say. We look forward to keeping up with all of their bright musical futures.

Photos: Have You Heard

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