A Look Back at

Sebastian Cook
1. Konono No. 1 @ Harbourfront (July 9)
The Congotronics sensations from Kinshasa visited Toronto for the first time. 90 minutes of non-stop, “what is THIS?” rhythmic bliss, the kind of sound I wish had been blasting across Toronto on loudspeakers, so primal and captivating. The crowd had been anticipating this show for weeks, and the energy was as good as it gets from a T.O. audience.

2. Bio Ritmo Salsa Machine @ Lula Lounge (April 14)
Salsa from beyond the sphere, tight as a drum with elements of jazz, samba, rock that make Bio Ritmo’s sound completely and utterly original. A packed house on Good Friday. Dig it.
> go to report

3. Guru with the Toronto Jazzmatazz All-Stars, Rhythmicru & The Irie Band Rhythm Section, Jugular & DJ Dalia @ The Mod Club (December 3)
Dalia laid down one of the best DJ sets I’ve ever heard in a Toronto club. Jugular’s beat boxing was just astounding — no way that was on a regular mic, was it? Long-time friends Rhythmicru did their thing with a live band for the first time and rocked the house right. And then, the rap-jazz originator basically served up my favourite hiphop record live in its entirety, with Brownman & Sundar leading the band.
> go to report

4. James Hunter and Michael Pickett @ Lula Lounge (November 15)
A journey through the heart of American roots & soul music — via Toronto and Colchester, England. A happier crowd I have not seen in a long time.
> go to report

5. Bryan Vargas y ¡Ya Esta! @ Lula Lounge (September 14)
Afro-Latino soul music — Eddie Palmieri meets Carlos Santana meets the Buena Vista Social Club. Absolutely brilliant musicianship, delivered with humour, grace and spirit.
> go to report

6. Daara J @ The Mod Club (July 16)
The cutting edge of international hiphop, direct from Senegal. Only about 100 people in the house on a Sunday night but it sounded like four times as many.

7. Arthur Brown @ Lula Lounge (October 16)
A one-man rock opera, as much a stage actor as he is a musician.
> go to report

8. Hendrik Meurkens @ The Rex (September 27)
The samba-jazz chromatic harmonica virtuoso with an all-star T.O. Brazilian band. This night turned me into a Rex fan.

9. Natacha Atlas @ The Phoenix (September 22)
Not at all what I was expecting — an orchestral concert instead of her more electronica-infused grooves. There are certain voices that just stop you in your tracks. She’s one of them.
> go to report

10. King Sunshine Second Movement CD release @ The Reverb (October 21)
Dixieland meets deep house — live. One of the most original party sounds coming out of Toronto, with great live charisma. The room was packed, moving and happy.

We welcome your comments and feedback
Sebastian Cook
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