Monday, November 21, 2005

Jazzisfaction & more - 19/11/2005, Brussels

We, IVN, visiting Londoner M and I, walked into the Archiduc around 6 PM as the band was starting up the last tune of the first set. I saw an electric bass and heard a jazz-funk groove. Sure, trumpeter/leader Peer Baierleen was there, but I doubted whether this really was Jazzisfaction. I then got roped into buying a Kriek Girardin. A tip: if given the opportunity, don't. 6 euros for not much return on investment.

After the break, I listened to the concert from the U-shaped balcony. It was an odd but excellent vantage point: I was directly above pianist Ewout Pierreux's hands and could see Peer's hands and fluegelhorn/trumpet, but not the rest of his body. The Archiduc small enough that a relatively good-time band like Jazzisfaction isn't overwhelmed by the ambient conversation levels, especially from my balcony perch. Peering out over the rail, I could even make out the bass solos well enough. So the atmosphere was nice and lively, and the band ebullient. Jazzisfaction released their debut CD, Issues, a few years ago, a highly recommended mix of delicate and atmospheric jazz that bursts into surprisingly solid grooves from time to time. Pierreux masterfully juggles between piano and Fender Rhodes.

Afterwards, we went to a Japanese restaurant, a first for me. It was, iirc, Sakura in the Halles St. Géry quarter. If you're hungry, I recommend the Maki menu: 18 bite-size fish 'n' rice rolls (the menu claims 12, so maybe I benefitted from some kind of mix-up), for 15 euros. Still later, we headed out to Fol Le Goupil. That bar/restaurant's oddities are almost too numerous to list: several small, low-ceilinged rooms spread out on several floors and strewn with sofas, walls hung with innumerable paintings, statues here and there, the place must be in tourist guides, as it was full of young tourists, they only serve their own rather particular cocktails and the boss gives off a decidedly strange aura. All in all, I think we gave M a nice vista of Brussels.