Midnight is glamourous and smooth. Watching
them perform in the elegant surroundings of
Liquid Lounge was at once a trip into the
past and a vibrant experience of the immediate.
Out front was Lindsey Berger, a tall blond
bombshell, crooning and enticing with a warm,
low-pitched voice and a elegantly-sexy black
dress. Behind her the band was dressed to
the nines, with sharp suits and skinny ties.
This band is even more sharp musically. Playing
a mix of original jazz and classics, their
music is smooth, cool and vibrant. Backed
by a strong grasp of the fundamentals of more
traditional jazz forms, dashes of bossa nova
and a "strong-boned" hip-hop influence,
they play subtlely with your expectations.
Keep your ears pricked for "Casper's
Blues", a tune written by the band for--of
all things--a man who worked at a flower show.
With a distinct melody line, it serves as
a springboard for improv, which shows their
solid communication skills, tight playing
and good rapport to good effect.
The band members are all accomplished musicians.
Sax player Patrick Byrne, also of the band
Schlumpy, plays a historically grounded, but
challenging style. On the keyboard is the
amazing Roger Smith, a classically-trained
musician with amazing technique and an apparent
ability to play every instrument known to
man. Drummer Curly, a drum teacher at Jimmy's
House and drummer for underground punk band
Reproduction, brings a youthful, playful hip-hop
based twist to the mix.
With the Taichung Jazz Festival (where 'Round
Midnight performed) just behind us, there
is an increasing local interest in jazz. If
you are looking for something beyond the standard
formulaic pop, be sure to check out 'Round
Midnight at Oldies on Monday nights at 10:30
p.m., or at Liquid Lounge on Wednesdays at
the same time.