Review: Breakfast Included Celebrate Jazz at Oude Libertaas

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Breakfast IncludedIf a good dose of jazz at an opportune moment can wash away the dust of everyday life, then the latest CD by Breakfast Included has the capacity to move sand dunes.

This dynamic group was formed in 1999 and currently consists of members Jason Reolon (piano), Shaun Michau (drums), Wesley Rustin (bass), Buddy Wells (sax), Tony Paco (percussion) and star vocalists Nomfundo Xaluva and Haydn Gardner. With two CDs (Breakfast Included 2001 and Night Work Ahead 2004) under their belts, and having twice been winners of the Best Jazz Band in theWestern Cape section of the Old Mutual Jazz Encounters Competition, expectations ran high for the release of their latest CD.

Welcome to Today, the most recent title, was recorded inCape Town and mixed and mastered inNew York by Grammy Award-winning engineers Dave Darlington and Greg Calbi. The band promised that this latest recording was one of the most sensational releases to ever emerge from the South African jazz scene and that it was exemplary of their diverse musical background and the jazzy, groovy, soulful sound that had made them so popular.

The tranquil surrounds of the Oude Libertas Amphitheatre provided the perfect setting for this jazz celebration.  The rustling of leaves and the fading twilight were an appropriate backdrop to the smooth sounds of their ensemble. Old favourites were combined with new works from the CD and the audience was thoroughly entertained with the diversity of the repertoire and the mastery of the instrumentalists. Jason Reolon again proved why he was a deserving winner of the SAMRO International Scholarship for Jazz Piano and Wesley Rustin hugged and toiled his double bass as if he was embroiled in a feverish tango with the love of his life. The audience reacted especially warmly to the dexterous playing of Tony Paco on percussion.

In addition to new tracks like ‘Wanna be Loved’ and ‘New Moon’, the group’s new and fresh interpretation of the ever popular ‘Fever’ and ‘Windmills of your Mind’ will certainly be a hit with fans. Vocalist Haydn Gardner stunned with his take on Michael Jackson’s ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ and the duet ‘The Way you Look Tonight’ performed by Nomfundo Xaluva and Gardner was met with delighted applause all round.

As Mike Laatz of Fine Music Radio put it “I could write a book of superlatives about each of the seven musicians on stage (and the sound engineer). Let me simply say that in my opinion, it was the finest concert I’ve ever seen anywhere in the world!”

Andra le Roux-Kemp

 

Breakfast Included launched their third EP Welcome to Today at the Oude Libertas Amphitheatre on 4 March 2012. 

For more information on Breakfast Included, and to purchase, download and listen to the album, visit the band’s official website.

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