You know instinctively that you have got lucky hearing the band at the soundcheck playing Herbie Hancock's 'Chameleon' so seemingly effortlessly. Then you double-up when a keyboardist as fine as the multi-instrumentalist David Mrakpor of Blue Lab Beats goes into Herbie's 'Butterfly,' a piece that Robert Glasper has added his own spin on.
In the Glasper mould Mrakpor is pretty jaw-dropping I must admit hearing him live for the first time during the first set last night at the Post Bar, Tottenham. When the Triple Jam house band led by very tasteful trombonist-vocalist James Lawrence played 'Butterfly' it definitely took me back to 2008 and hearing Robert Glasper at Charlie Wright's in Hoxton because Mrakpor is in that sound swirl and has a lot of playing personality. Drummer Joe Allotta was an effervescent presence and soon his way with the offbeats got the head bobbing. The band's bass guitarist was, carefully and steadily, Edoardo Bombace.
With the ''jazztronica'' Blue Lab Beats on 'Blow You Away (Delilah)' Mrakpor also plays guitar (it's quite a riff) and chatting very briefly before going on last night after the soundcheck he mentioned on the guitar side that he likes George Benson. Check out Blue Lab Beats and he's on the compilation Blue Note Re:Imagined playing keys and vibes on 'Montara'. Inspiring stuff on this showing catching this significant talent live. SG
Guitarist Chris Booth top left and keyboardist David Mrakpor at the Post Bar