Celebrating the release of their long-awaited debut album Baba, drummer Tarik Abouzied’s Happy Orchestra turned our listeners’ frowns upside down with an energetic set live in the KNKX studios.
As the composer of all the songs on the album, Tarik told us he’s mostly composing at a piano keyboard. He also plays bass, and this one-man rhythm section’s music is a good representation of that.
Propulsive, driving rhythms are chock full of complex drum fills, with the trumpet-sax combo of Thomas Marriott and Stuart MacDonald throwing out horn stabs.
The solos came mostly from the rock-fueled guitar of R.L. Heyer, with tasty work from Tim Kennedy’s electric keys and the virtuosic funky bass of Damian Erskine. With his drum kit set up directly in the middle of the sextet, Abouzied is clearly the center of attention.
Leading their set with the title song of the new album, dedicated to his father’s convertible-driving wild side, Abouzied says his Dad wasn’t fully supportive of his career in music. Still, Dad chipped in to help finance the album’s completion, and for fans of hard grooving, catchy, ultra-cool, funky jazz, it was worth every penny.