Jacob Collier's concert made music history

I go to many jazz concerts, but Jacob Collier's concert was the best I've ever been to. By far!


3 minute read

Jacob Collier's concert made music history

Jacob's concert

On 28th May 2016 I had the privilege to attend Jacob Collier’s concert in London.

For the first time ever he performed a few of his own compositions live.

It was a sneak-peek into what is to come from this messiah of modern day fusion music.

Exceeded all expectations

I went in with an expectation that Jacob will perform most of the tracks from his YouTube channel.

Exactly the way we have got to know them on there.

Instead, Jacob surprised us in every way possible.

His YouTube songs he performed with a significantly different arrangement to the original rendering.

Each arrangement sounded like it was intentionally made, composed and produced.

At no point did Jacob make any mistakes in his performance, while masterfully performing on a wide array of instruments.

They included: three keyboards, grand piano, electric double bass, 4-string electric bass, jazz drum kit, a handful of percussion and a 4 string tenor guitar and, of course, his signature melodica.

Futuristic live performance

As usual, he accompanied everything with his singing throughout the 1.5 hour set.

The performance was also accompanied by a futuristic looking visual instrument, powered by a Kinect sitting in front of his main keyboard.

The Kinect video feed transforms in real time into on-screen virtual paintings of Jacob’s face and body.

The paintings were projected onto a large screen behind him, turning the whole show into a fine blend of exuberant audio-visual experience.

Sonic exhuberance

Before the show started we speculated whether the sound would be good.

The concert was happening inside a railway arch, where we wouldn’t have expected great sound.

In the end, everything sounded perfect, as if it was mixed by the mighty Quincy Jones.

How this is possible is beyond my comprehension.

After the concert my friend Christian and I exchanged remarks about what we witnessed.

Overall impressions

Jacob left many impressions on us.

As avid, long term followers of jazz music and analysts of greatest musical performers of all time we knew our music history.

Jacob wanted to show the world that he was the best musician on the planet.

As far as I'm concerned he did exactly that.

Nobody I know of, ever, was able to harmonise music in such a way.

Nobody I know of, ever, was ever able to play so many instruments at such an incredibly high standard.

Nobody I know of, ever, can synthesise music in real time at such level of sophistication.

The listeners in the audience looked on in complete awe.

This was truly musical history in making.

In my lifetime I've been to about 250+ jazz concerts featuring world's best musicians of all time.

This time round I was left speechless.

Physical impact on us

Jacob had reprogrammed our DNA through his musical passages.

He delivered something that could be described as a 'jazz sermon' and an initiation ceremony.

I don't think I will ever think about music in the same way.

If I play a dominant 7th with added 9th and 13th it now sounds bland and boring.

I want to play more dense, complex and sophisticated, multidimensional sounding material.

Jacob's ability to loop in extremely complex rhythmical passages and blend them with multilayered harmonies is incredible.

Musical wonder kid

This boy (I still feel like I can call him that as he's only just passed his 20th birthday) is a true wonder of any kind on this planet.

Jacob knows music like nobody else ever.

As my friend Christian said: 'Jacob is a reincarnation of Pastorious, Zawinul, Zappa, Miles Davis and all other great musicians all in one!'

I agree 100%.

Jacob Collier is a musical super wonder!

I feel extremely privileged to have witnessed his first ever concert in which he performed his own original material live.

I don't think I'll ever be able to hear music in the same way again though.

Jacob's opinion about this article

Now listen to Jacob improvise on the piano

There are many amazing videos of Jacob on YouTube.

This one caught my ear most recently, as it showcases incredible piano playing skills he has.

Published on: 01 Jun 2016

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