Kris Bowers and Peter Edwards bring music and generations together at OXYO – EFG London Jazz Festival

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“It’s just me and my laptops,” Peter Edwards introduces himself with a sentence that really sums up the young generation of the line-up. Both Bowers and Edwards are of the millennial generation, forcing the old jazz scene on its toes by pushing its boundaries with electronic waves and guitar riffing rhythms. Edwards and his electronic set proved to be the perfect introduction to the eclectic journey of jazz, hip hop, R&B, blues, and even rock, that is Kris Bowers. With such a wide set of influences you might think it would sound disconnected, instead the sounds blended seamlessly into each other where every note and instrument had its own place.

The first song ‘Drift’ starts with a slow build-up of drums, piano and bass, introducing each instrument carefully before moving on to the guitar, the energy booster of most of the songs. But the basis of the melodies is built with drums, letting the bass drum hang around for a while, joining up all the heartbeats in the room. This is the core of the first songs ‘Drift’ and ‘The Protester’ that Bowers follows with a remix of Tune-Yard’s ‘Gangsta’, using the sound of an analog synth in replacement of the distinctive lyrical and melodic phrases of the original song.

The crowd is so involved that they want to be part of every move, so much that Bowers has to tell them to stop clapping as he is looping the song ‘Caravan’, made famous by Duke Ellington, by clapping his hands and snapping his fingers. The whole set is filled with great talent and appreciation for all music genres and how they all can join together. Just like how the different generations of the crowd joined together and could relate to each other through the music that evening.

– Karin Jonsson