Friday, February 20, 2015

Melanie de Biasio

Last year, when we saw Jef Neve at Leuven Jazz Festival, he had invited Belgian drummer Dre Pallemaerts as one of his special guests.  We were so impressed with Pallemaerts' fantastic drumming, when I saw on the programme brochure that he worked with Melanie De Biasio on her new album, I decided to check it out.  And that is how I discovered the unique talent of this upcoming Belgian jazz singer.  Her album "No Deal" is dark and atmospheric, but incredibly enjoyable to listen to.  It got rave reviews in the international jazz world, and she was even invited to perform on the Jools Holland show - the first Belgian to do so in the past 20 years!  Here is a video of that performance:

So when I saw she was coming to Leuven early this year, I bought tickets.  The only thing I was a bit concerned about was how were they going to make an interesting show out of a rather dark, and mainly slow album?  Wasn't it going to be too monotonous, or even boring, for my husband, who was going to go with me?  I was sure I would enjoy it because I had listened to the album so often, but I was worried about him!

Well, I needn't have worried...De Biasio and her band crafted a real work of art out of how they presented the songs from the album.  We were mesmerized from beginning to end.  Even the lighting was well thought out and added to the experience we had of being swept up into a very particular world during the concert.  We were both impressed - in fact, I was amazed at how enthusiastic my husband was afterwards.  Bravo, Melanie!  Just to give an idea, here is a clip from their show at the AB that is very similar to how they played in Leuven, with the same very talented band that includes drummer Dre Pallemaerts, pianist Pascal Mohy, bassist Sam Gerstmans, and on analog synth Pascal Paulus:

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