Monday, the 9th of October 2017 saw an exceptional musical event held at the Wrocław Opera House in Wrocław, Poland. It was a live performance by one of the best and widely respected drummers today, a true visionary of the instrument – Jojo Mayer, who was accompanied by his band NERVE and the Eklektik Orchestra. Together, they created a project which appeared live as part of this year’s edition of Eklektik Session – an artistic platform, which is aimed at blurring the boundaries between different art forms. What made the concert so exceptional was its “Reversed” formula, i. e. the members of the audience were standing on stage and sitting in the boxes, while the musicians were set up where the audience would normally be seated. This meant the artists were surrounded by the listeners. An impressive sight to have seen!
After a short introduction from the creator of Eklektik Session, Radek “Bond” Bednarz, Jojo Mayer and the members of Nerve took the stage. They were welcomed by a huge round of applause, after which the noble walls of the Wrocław Opera House were filled with mighty sounds generated by wonderful artists.
During the show, we were exposed to a major dose of all kinds of innovative sounds, grooves and an exceptional atmosphere, which got the entire audience very much involved. We don’t really mean dancing to a selection of drum ‘n’ bass lines that were being played. It was clear that the listeners were getting what the musicians were delivering. No mater what reaction, each member of the audience seemed a conscious participant in the event.
In between the tunes, Jojo explained that most of the material presented that evening was the result of improvising. We have to say the sounds of a bass guitar enriched with electronic effects that could have been created by Salvador Dali (if he were a musician today) were truly intense and appealing. Each of the remaining musicians enhanced this trance with his “toys”.
As far as Jojo Mayer‘s playing is concerned, we cannot say enough good things about his feeling. He was able to make his drum kit sound exactly the way it was necessary for every composition. Straight grooves were broken by non-obvious fills and intricate rhythms, which only heated up the atmosphere. Jojo’s weapons for the evening consisted of a Sonor Ascent kit and a set of Sabian cymbals. Snare drum no 2 is worth mentioning as it featured all manner of effects such as Hoop Crashers or Big Fat Snare Drum toppers.
Having performed a number of tunes, including “Mindwash“, which all Nerve fans know very well, the artists left the stage. Obviously, they had to come back for an encore, during which the audience started chanting the words “Nerve” and “Jojo“. A beautiful moment!
I attended a Jojo Mayer & Nerve concert exactly 7 years ago, which was also on the 9th of October. I have to say the band (despite a slight line-up change) have not lost any of its uniqueness and their music is just as exceptional as it was back then.
After a short interlude, the concert continued featuring the members of the Eklektik Orchestra, who were joined by Jojo Mayer and John Davis from Nerve. The creator of the Eklektik Session artistic platform, Radek “Bond” Bednarz, conducted the ensemble and played bass.
The composition performed by the combo was a sonic journey through many musical areas – at times minimalist, ambient, but also loud. There were moments when the rhythm would disappear only to come back with a nice groove from Jojo. The electronics blended in with two double basses and a brass section very well. We were a bit overwhelmed by the mixture of sounds, but never lost interest in where they were going to take it next and surprise the listeners. We are very much impressed by both parts of the concert. Eclecticism at its best!
Jojo Mayer & Nerve are:
Jojo Mayer / drums
John Davis / bass, modulations
Jacob Bergson / keyboards, synths
Aaron Nevezie / audio mix, effects
Eklektik Orchestra “Reversed”:
Jojo Mayer / drums
Ståle Storløkken / Rhodes, electronics
Dieb13 / turntables, electronics
Alfred Vogel / percussion
John Davis / double bass
Paweł Jabłczyński / double bass
Jan Kantner / alto saxophone
Dominik Gawroński / trumpet
Adam Bławicki / saxophones
Bond / bass, electronics.
Report and photos were written and taken by Janek Pudłowski.Share