Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Kiss The Bride - Stories

Kiss the Bride
These six gentlemen and have had a long-running love affair with music, playing different genres with different bands, usually performing cover music of foreign bands. While they undoubtedly enjoyed their gigs, each of them longed to play original music, to bring their love of music to a more intense and fulfilling level.  Thus, after a long ‘courtship’, the six decided to take the plunge, band together, and commit to marriage to a common bride—music that is uniquely their own.  With the blessings of friends, supporters, and fans, they are ready to embark on the next level of this love affair, and, reminiscent of the traditional culmination of the nuptial ceremony, they commit to a life dedicated to their very own music as they KISS THE BRIDE.

The music of KISS THE BRIDE is truly a marriage of hearts, minds, talents, and genres.  Defying classification, the new band’s music, which consists of original compositions, may be described as fusion yet melodic, jazz but with Latin and pop flavors, most songs devoid of lyrics but each with a story to tell.  KISS THE BRIDE promises a musical experience that will bring audiences to a deeper level of intimacy with all that they hold dear in their lives.

By: Tinnie Esguerra

Following the road to musical nirvana isn’t something that always comes easy to jazz musicians. For most, it means a lifetime of echoing tradition, standing in the shadows of long-gone heroes who have, ironically, blazed their own paths via their own brazen acts of musical defiance.

Rare indeed is the jazz improvisor who can uncover, and ultimately channel, his truly distinct musical voice within his lifetime. A lot of so-called purists have chosen to remain shackled to stereotypes and clich├ęs, unmindful of their own folly. But there are a few independent spirits out there who never take themselves (or jazz, for that matter) too seriously, and heed the intuitive forces that resonate within their souls.

Tony Razon is one such fiercely-independent spirit, whose prodigious pianistic chops have been honed through casual flirtations or temporary dalliances of the musical sort, whether they be full-blown jazz jams, spaced-out rock gigs, or even the occasional dance hall capers.

Through it all, he nurtured his Muse – that irresistible goddess of creativity who constantly teases, seduces or taunts with ideas so compelling that they always left indelible imprints; ideas which later on in life would be triggered and reawakened by a feeling, an image, a distant memory or even a seemingly offhand remark.

That lifelong journey finally comes full circle with Kiss The Bride, a group of talented jazz musicians who have taken upon the challenge of forging their unique musical template.
What started out as a loosely-structured quartet featuring acclaimed fusion guitar virtuoso Joey Puyat on guitar, Jobit Arguelles on drums, Kingsley delos Santos on bass, and Tony on piano soon evolved into a more cohesive unit with the recent addition of saxophonist Vince Lahorra and veteran percussionist Uly AvanteProlific session drummer Otep Concepcion was also tapped to replace Jobit, who reluctantly left the group to pursue a different career path.

Despite the bridal reference, the band doesn’t dish out sappy heart-melting love songs. Neither do they play wedding gigs.

What they do churn out, is a hybrid style that can be rightfully called contemporary instrumental pop. It’s smooth jazz with an edge. It’s electrifying fusion interlaced with an ever-evolving rhythmic backdrop that fuses swing, bebop, Latin, Hispanic and other middle Eastern influences.

In hindsight, Tony’s compositions – forged to life by his trusty steeds – could very well have been inspired by the late night lullabies that his father, an accomplished flamenco virtuoso, used to lull him to sleep.

It’s not surprising how Tony fondly refers to his compositions as ‘Stories’ – yarns of personal vignettes and memories that he never fails to regale the crowd with during their live sets.

This is a love story like no other; an artist who has finally reaffirmed his lifelong dedication and commitment to his music; and as the wedding ritual implies, also signifies the start of a new life together, as manifested through Kiss The Bride’s potent blend of jazz that’s anything but traditional.

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