CD Release Party at The Gypsy Cafe in Fremont featuring Jabi Shriki, with special guests Eric Haber and Roo Forrest
Eric Habér, who also helped on the CD Puzzle Pieces opened the show with a mellow acoustic set warming us up for the rest of the evening. Eric’s sound seems reminiscent of late 60’s “ballad-like” Brit pop. Soft, sweet, sardonic, this guy totally reminds me of the mellower yet still powerful Rolling Stones. Check out his Digital Album at: http://erichaber.bandcamp.com/
Roo Forrest played a rather creative set with a cello and bongo accompaniment ranging from his serious and masterfully written “Istanbul” to a well performed, albeit unusual, cover of “Fulsom Prison blues” which was accompanied by inserts during instrumental breaks of poems by Anne Frank (Roo’s sublimely unusual). And finally ending his set with an amusing political assessment of our current presidential candidate situation, complete with costumes, props, and subtle but witty gimmicks, fitting into his song an introduction to our highlight and star of the evening Jabi Shriki. On a side note “Istanbul” was requested from the audience, it was the first time I’d heard it and it blew me away. I don’t know if this song is available for listen but you can check out Roo’s debut CD at: http://www.rooforrest.com
Kicking off his west coast tour Jabi seemed not only relaxed but at home on stage playing selections from his current CD ‘Puzzle Pieces’ and songs from past releases as well. The show itself felt more “at home” than concert-like, partly owing to the fact of the living room-like setting that the Gypsy seems to be famous for, but also the ease with which the performers played. Puzzle Pieces takes on this relaxed, familiar, yet original and inspirational sound; Meditation rock with a Mid-Eastern influence. Look for upcoming dates on Jabi’s tour at: http://www.jabi.us
The Puzzle Pieces CD
Jabi’s previous releases had a more esoteric feel to them, this one is a bit more pop – not losing that esoteric eastern sound but actually adding to it. Mellow 80’s comes to mind but definitely not so much softer, as “smoother.” David Bowie meets Sheila Chandra is the feel I get from Puzzle Pieces. Some songs working better than others, as in most albums, but the overall feel is both meditative and mesmerizing. The track “Undertones” is almost anthem-like in sound and lyric. “Intro” – track 9 – is a simple yet enchanting guitar piece. But as “Inverse Seconds” begins I bring the top down and crank up the heat, on this winter’s evening. While drifting down the highway I’m traveling, I release the song into the night, feeling really “cool” that I’m from Seattle…’cause so is Jabi Shriki.