Local Review: Flamingo – The Flamboyance
Local Music Reviews
Flamingo = New Orleans Rhythm Kings + Michael Buble x Trombone Shorty
One of my dreams as a young adult was to wander through downtown Salt Lake and stumble across a classic jazz club. I’d buy myself a drink and play a part in the ecosystem of the dimly lit room buzzing with soft and sweltering energy, with smiles and movement all around. Flamingo is bringing to Salt Lake exactly the kind of jazz I have heard in my dreams. With their debut album The Flamboyance, they’re skyrocketing the local charts with their classic, New Orleans-type sound. Once you get a taste, you’re infected with the passionate brass fever.
Flamingo consists of frontman and vocalist Jake Chamberlain, trumpeter Parker Andreezi, saxophonist Kenny Fong, upright bass player Aidan Woodard, keys/organ Christian Lucy and drummer Matt Morrison. The mix of their instruments creates the fullness that you’d hear in a classic jazz band and gives each person the freedom to fervently improvise. They mesh like fibers of a sweater until suddenly one instrument decides it’s ready to shine. Each solo on the album in every track is utterly orgasmic, and every instrument gets their chance to take the jazz goer for an erotic ride. The sound ferments into your bones, and you die and come back just to hear the rest of the song.
The Flamboyance is a collection of songs performed by some of the greatest jazz artists of all time. Some are such old tunes, though, that the original songs sound completely different—like the elementary game of telephone, every time an artist recreates the song, it transforms. Each track had me tripping down a research rabbit hole about where it came from, who wrote it, what the lyrics mean and all the greats who have released it in the past. Some of the beauty of jazz is that “covering” or “sampling” or “copy/paste” is the art. Some of these songs haven’t been re-recorded recently, so the recordings of The Flamboyance are an insane treat.
The amazing thing about talented jazz musicians is that they’ve spent a million years studying the tendencies of jazz and learned how to compose the fundamentals into their own song on the spot. It’s one of the most freeing genres for the artist because they create it right in front of their audience. This kind of New Orleans jazz is where you can hear a musician enjoying themself, not unlike when you can “hear” someone smiling as they talk in a podcast. Instead of rehearsing specificialities, they transfigure. They remember the riffs that are written in their bones and transmit them as their own magnum opus. This is exactly the sort of devotion with which Flamingo performs.
You can experience Flamingo every Wednesday at The Rabbit Hole right now. And if you have any sort of wet dream about jazz in Salt Lake like I do, we’ll go together. –Mary Culberston
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