Desney and Band by Red Haircrow
“Smooth, melodious and full of joy and soul” are just a few terms that I would use to describe not only Desney Bailey‘s voice, but her performance persona as well. And having been present for part of the soundcheck when her and the band were practicing, I observed her gentle laugh and easy smile. Even during moments of professional piqué between a couple of guys, she exuded a special vibe of harmony that soothed, an unspoken admonition to remember why all of them were there: for the love of the music, of the show, of the sharing.
And it’s not easy…no, in fact, it is more difficult than non-musicians can fully understand: when you have various players, whether a bass guitarist, saxophonist, drummer or percussionist, who haven’t played together for a while, sometimes months or maybe even a year, to come back together and reconnect in the way they need to reconnect to each other and the music, and play jazz of this type and caliber.
Soundcheck by Red Haircrow
Take for instance Zam Johnson, who I know personally and consider a friend. It simply amazes me the ability and skill this guy has. Not only to compose music, play percussion instruments of all kinds, the guitar and drums in a variety of music types and styles but also to simply remember all of the songs, plus can readily respond to improvisation? Multi-tasking, multi-capable and high energy!
Musicians like these are special types of artists, combining hard work and the many lessons they’ve learned with the latest technology in a tremendous way. It is different from those who believe music is the product of technology, confusing production of sound with true skill.
For the venue itself, Quasimodo is one of the oldest jazz clubs in Berlin and is a nice enough, having a central location that’s easily accessible by public transport, and although you always have the ubiquitous number of drunk Germans who are attracted to live performances but who do not seem to not how to know how to behave and keep their voices down when the show is going on, well? I’ve learned to expect them and focus back on the beauty of the thing that’s happening on stage.
The human voice can be magnificent, and Desney’s got that in spades, and when backed by a band all on point? A very, very special evening. I’m always thankful when I can be a part of something like this and share the love performers like these willingly give their audience.
Desney Bailey (vocals)
Paul Griesbach (saxophone)
Daryl Taylor (bass guitar)
Zam Johnson (percussion)
Jan Trojam (drums)
A sample of the performance in video: