‘Homerun’ // TaxiWars (try-out, Turnhout, 10 Apr 2018)

Yesterday, TaxiWars took to the stage at the Keizershof in Turnhout to perform a daring set of mostly new, unrecorded material. A homerun for prodigal son Robin Verheyen, who was born and raised in Turnhout and went on to immerse himself in comtemporary jazz, headquartered in his adopted hometown New York.

When Verheyen started playing the weathered, but great-sounding tenor sax he inherited from his grandfather (on signature tune TaxiWars), the Keizershof immediately got the atmosphere of a smoke-filled jazz club in a dark cellar. And while some details were certainly discussed between band members after the show, the try-out suggested that TaxiWars’ third album could be their best yest.

Upright bass player Nicolas Thys laid down irrestible grooves, though at times he seemed not fully at ease, glancing at drummer Antoinne Pierre for directions. Pierre himself wore a mild, but continuous smile as he effortlessly played the most tricky parts, like during the great new Iberian Moon, which was written in septuple meter.

Lots of fun

Tom Barman, who’s used to far bigger crowds and more onstage moving space with dEUS, communicated with his inner Beefheart, toyed with vocal effects, put his mic in Verheyen’s horn, and clearly had lots of fun.

So did the audience, which as it happens included my dad. Years ago he firmly proclaimed “I don’t like jazz”, but yesterday he left the venue genuinely impressed by TaxiWars’ punk jazz. Even when Verheyen sometimes recalled Coltrane’s wildest moments. For me, it shows just how big the crossover potential of TaxiWars really is.

TaxiWars@Keizershof: setlist

  • Taxiwars (‘TaxiWars’, 2015)
  • Soul Repair (‘Fever’, 2016)
  • Drop Shot (new)
  • The Glare (new)
  • Tell You You’ve Changed (new)
  • Bridges (‘Fever’, 2016)
  • Iberian Moon (new)
  • Who That (‘TaxiWars, 2015)
  • Different Or Not (new)
  • Infinity Cove (new)
  • Irritated Love (new)
  • Ping Pong (new)
  • Artificial Horizon (new)
  • Sharp Practice (new)
  • Death Ride Through Wet Snow (‘TaxiWars’, 2015)
  • —————————
  • Safety in Numbers (new)
  • Colloseum (‘TaxiWars’, 2015)

 

More jazz on UnearthingMusic?
Read ‘Machine Gun: a Rapid-Fire History of Epic Jazz’.

 

TaxiWars_Setlist

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