Monday 16 May 2022

Jesse Fischer, LIVE @ Ronnie Scott's 27th April 2022

Since March 2020, the world has had to evolve and adapt to these new and extraordinary circumstances where face masks, social distancing, excessive amounts of hand sanitizer, home schooling and Zoom-based interactions had become our new "normal".  And while the time since has certainly impacted everyone, the impact on the music industry and independent artists and musicians has been particularly difficult to see unfolding.  Conversely, this can also be seen as a challenge that many have risen to - the need to continually create, even in less-than-inspirational circumstances, has led to some wonderful and inspired ideas and projects.  

Although Jesse Fischer's 'Resilience' was actually recorded before a certain worldwide pandemic, its overall message of hope and inspiration was appropriately timed when it was eventually unveiled to the world in August 2020.  Even the incorporation of the project's accompanying web series that featured the pianist and producer conducting one-on-one discussions with the album's collaborators, again, proved an inspired concept in a bid to continue making connections with an audience while live performances weren't possible.

Fast forward to Wednesday 27th April 2022 - a milestone that seemed unachievable for the longest time but would ultimately see the opening night of a European tour that brings Fischer and his band to London, Paris and Munich.  The revered Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club marked the tour's first stop in the much overdue live celebration of 'Resilience' alongside music from Fischer's ongoing covers series, 'Flipped II' (2018).  With a line-up comprised of AJOYO saxophonist and founder Yacine Boular├Ęs, Jason Brown on drums and Karl Abel on electric bass, the quartet masterfully breezed through 'Resilience' highlights including the album's title track and 'Healing' while segueing into Fischer's own reimaginings of classics like Freddie Hubbard's 'The Intrepid Fox' and Stevie Wonder's 'Creepin'. 

The pleasure for Fischer to be able to grace a stage again was certainly not lost on him or the devoted audience in attendance.  Perched in front of the grand piano with keyboards positioned adjacent and smiling gleefully, at times even with his eyes closed, as he plays and conducts the stage with subtle nods and smiles to the band members that indicate "one more time" or "on the one" to bring the song to a close.  An appreciative and engrossed audience fed off the energy from the more uptempo performances, remained just as enamoured during the more intimate compositions and were all equally absorbed by Fischer's warm and personable interaction between songs as he provided insight into each project and introduced the fantastic band.

The tour was further commemorated by the release of Fischer's brand new single which is to be the first of a series of 'Resilience' remixes kickstarted by a remix of the album's title track itself dubbed 'Resilience (Recharged)'.  With the Christian Scott-featured original recreated to make way for "analog synths and vintage 90's drum machines", Fischer's imaginative retelling of 'Resilience' comes with the promise of more remixes, by Fischer as well as others, currently in the works.  We certainly look forward to those as well as for the chance to see Jesse Fischer grace a London stage again.  

While the 'Resilience' project clearly still steams ahead, it must have come as immeasurable comfort for Fischer to have this live tour be a part of the project's overall story as it was originally envisioned.  It was certainly of immeasurable comfort to those in attendance.

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