M.O.S. = Monopoly of Sounds, Jazz and Fusion Tuesdays, La Casa de Ibiza, June 07
by Nigel Campbell, the Blackberry Bro
Shaka Charles & M.O.S. (Monopoly of Sounds) is a unique band with the trombone as the lead instrument – not common at all in the canon of TT jazz; two ladies on keys namely Candice Moore and Michelle Marfan tripling on flute; a female drummer in “Rael Scott; and the powerful voice of Michelle Clarke. Enlightening.
Clarke launched Jazz and Fusion Tuesdays for Charles & M.O.S with the evergreen Jazz ballad “Summertime.” From there, she moved into a Latin romp with a salsa rhythm with a ‘bone lead.
On the heels of this was “Feel So Good,” which saw Marfan switching from keys to flute lead with skill.
Then it was time for an original composition by the leader. Shaka is a creative composer and a competent pianist who did justice to his song as a Jazz piece.
There was a surprise awaiting the musicians, as advertised on Facebook. It was ”Mr. Walker” (Mighty Sparrow). Well, the surprise was really on us.
Afterwards, Shaka called James Brown’s “A Funky Good Time” as an ode to Fred Wesley. I kept getting a Fela vibe on this one, what with the looseness of it all. However, James’ precision wasn’t there.
The next thing I knew, Marfan presented on tenor sax doing George Benson’s “Breezin.” This lady is versatile…and not bad.
“Sudden stop catch audience off guard. Technical problems abound in first half. I hope these are fixed before next set.”(Nigel Campbell)
Changing the pace and the beat, M.O.S came up with a “One Drop” trombonified reggae. Michelle Marfan has a new fan…me! Reggae me girl! With Marfan on flute leading, “Liquor Store Blues” got the crowd singing.
Shaka reclaimed his role as the leader of the group here. He did so with a Ska reading of the classic “Ebony Girl” by Nappy.
“Pata Pata” continued the Third World dancing fusion rhythm theme of the set thanks in part to “Rael” Scott who worked up a storm on drums.
An old-time Calypso medley, complete with brassorama riffs, increased the tempo, soca-like to 175 BPM. In the midst of the lavway, “Bang Bang Lulu” had the audience singing smut, and loving it. The crowd liked that!
M.O.S is a talented bunch whom I hade never heard before. Obviously, many have, and they were all at La Casa de Ibiza, standing room only. Not bad. I think that given much more exposure and some additional rehearsal, this band could make a definitive statement.