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Review and photos by Mary AndrewsJesse Cook had the crowd clapping at the Fox Theatre from the first notes of "Café Mocha." It was apparent that these were Cook's 'people' and they were there to participate in the music as well as be entertained.
This was the first tour stop for the Canadian Juno award winning guitarist and his band promoting and celebrating his new album release, One World. His rumba flamenco style of playing was seductive and impeccably executed. The acoustics at the Fox Theatre is the perfect milieu for his music.
His touring band was nothing short of superb. Chris Church has been with Mr. Cook for over 16 years. He is a master of the violin and during recent years, Chris added the Armenian duduk to his repertoire of musical instruments. Acoustic guitarist, Nicolas Hernandez, has been with the band for 13 years. His amazing guitar is second only to Jesse Cook! First timer on drums and percussion (and pots and pans) was Alberto Suarez. Dennis Mohammed provided acoustic and electric bass. All of the musicians played like rock stars. All were afforded the opportunity to feature their talent in solo spots during the show.
Cook's rhumba party weaved upbeat rhythms with quieter tempos. His fingers moved along the guitar strings like they were on fire. Other times his shredding seemed to be effortless even though he used the guitar as a percussion instrument while he played.
Jesse kept the symbiosis between himself and the fans going with lots of stories and quips. He described the disappointment his wife expressed when she learned how the true recording process of today occurred. He demonstrated the present day process of recording using a computer and loops to build his recordings. Other musicians are added late in the process.
The most astonishing thing about the show was the audience. This probably was due to the surprise factor involved with this type of show. Other guitarists of the genre usually conduct a show in an absolute quiet hall. That is not the case with Jesse Cook's show.
When the show ended, there was a standing ovation that demanded the band return. The encore started with a vocal treatment of Paul Simon's "Cecelia." The vocals were provided by Cook and Church. However, the larger portion of resounding vocals came from the crowd! The final song of the night involved the band standing on the edge of the stage with the microphones behind them and singing unplugged, "Fall At Your Feet." This was a fitting end to a great night of music and fun.
1. Café Mocha
3. Taxi Brazil
4. Canción Triste
8. Bogota by Bus
12. Luna Llena
13. Three Days
14. Mario Takes a Walk
15. Rumba Party: Bombay Diner, Closer To Madness,
That's Right, Baghdad Reprise
16. Cecilia (Simon & Garfunkel cover)
17. Fall at Your Feet (Crowded House cover
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