Budding acid jazz
The Warehouse, Toronto, Ont.
If Jason Kay, frontman of Jamiroquai, ever had to choose to be anyone's disciple, he chose the right person. Performing last week with his usual five-piece band and some fellow guests, Jamiroquai sparked an energetic mix of disco and funk influences that bear striking resemblance to the music of a young Stevie Wonder. The group, which has been labeled one of the forerunners of mainstream acid jazz, sold out its show in a matter of days.
Decked out in his signature attire consisting of a foot-high hat and a blue windbreaker, Kay opened the set by declaring that the crowd was a "lovely lot." One couldn't help but wonder if this was because of the anecdote he later told about a Joe Blow's attempt to offer him "quite a nice bag of buds." The spotlight was on Kay all night as he demonstrated his body's agile elasticity despite being a self-described small man hence the hat so that his avid dance moves made up for the rest of the band's lack of excitement. Perhaps they had taken up Joe Blow's offer. . .
The majority of the set consisted of tracks off Jamiroquai's latest album, Traveling Without Moving. Other tracks played included "Space Cowboy" and "Emergency on Planet Earth," which reached the top of British charts in June 1993, shortly after the band had formed. The highlight of the evening was a memorable rendition of "Cosmic Girl" mixed up with some African rhythms, beats and sounds of a didgeridoo.
Jamiroquai is one of the few bands that has transcended the underground club scene to emerge on stage as a live band and it seems their fans just can't get enough. The night ended with an encore and an after-party conveniently held at The Guvernment next door where Jamiroquai mingled with its fans.