It was just like old times. Weelll, not all that ‘old’, but after spending an extended period of time at Flowerbook, more than a few days in the city is never a pleasing prospect for Java or yours truly. This time, however, was decidedly different.

First, there were the final rehearsals for ‘Kumbi Kathawa’, which we had to attend, given our close association with the producers. Next, there was this evening at the Deeb, where old mates Cinimod, The Gee Man and his lovely Icy Jane, Estev, Mr. Zippy, and quite a few other mates, some we hadn’t seen in quite a while, were all enjoying the vibe that only the Deeb can provide. The old Burgher genes were stirred as familiar sensations were evoked by the goings on and a sterling time was had by all. Then there was the Brazilian group Acuri performing at Bareass Boulevard, which was an excellent evening of Brazilian Jazz. The climax was of course the final night of ‘Kumbi Kathawa’ (check here and here for reviews), where Thaji excelled along with the cast and crew and blew us away for the umpteenth time.

Acuri was a revelation. Five young Brazilian musicians played their brand of Jazz that evoked vibes of Weather Report, combined with their particular Brazilian flavour. The place was packed – mostly with expats and foreign visitors – so much so that someone cracked he had to get a visa to get in! Anyway, the audience, rather noisy and distracted to begin with, soon started to appreciate the music and musical skills of the band and expressed their appreciation in no uncertain terms. The encores were extended, until they were finally allowed to quit.

Rapping with some of the members of the band in the aftermath, Java learned that David Mello on lead guitar and viola wasn’t all that influenced by Joe Zawinul and Weather Report, but was more into guys like Pacquito D’Rivera, traditional jazz, which he combined with Brazilian music and, he had also mentioned (with a chuckle), “a little bit of Jimi Hendrix”. Ricardo Sa Reston who appeared to be the leader of the group, played bass guitar and was credited with the compositions and arrangements. He told Java that he was more into the Weather Report pieces that featured Jaco Pastorius – naturally, what better influence for a bass player?! The wind instruments – sax and flute, were handled by Caca Guifer, who did a splendid job of it. Pedro Carneiro was on keyboards and Roberto Kauffmann played drums and percussion. Ricardo mentioned that the band would be playing for a short time here before leaving Sri Lanka, so if you can get information on the venue and you are interested in the type of music we described, do try to make it. Well worth the effort.

And so the time in the city was very well spent – for a change! And now, back in the haven that is Flowerbook, reflections on a bygone week seem so far away, it’s almost like a faded dream.