With the calendar turning to August we enter the middle of summer. The long days full of sunlight dancing off your skin lends itself to balmy warm nights. The nights where memories are made, the ones filled with friends, the ones filled with laughs, and usually the ones filled with drinks to melt that summer heat away. So, it’s only natural that on August 6th Los Angeles had a large cup of French Kiwi Juice to fuel that summer vibe.
Still buzzing from his release earlier in the year with Col3trane, Perfect Timing French Kiwi Juice, or FKJ stopped in Los Angeles for the second time this year. This time as a part of his Fall tour that takes him across Europe, the United States, and Canada; bringing artist ((( O ))) with him to open the show.
I got the show at The Shrine Auditorium in typical LA fashion…late. Luckily I didn’t have to pay for parking as I got my scooter on and rode down Figueroa the mile or so from Downtown, to USC. Being as late as I was I missed most of the opening set from ((( O ))), however from what I was able to catch of her set I was super into. Accompanied by a large transparent cloth, she serenaded the Shrine and captivated an audience that was thirsty and craving some Juice.
as he transitioned from one instrument to the next, essentially acting as conductor and orchestra in synchronicity…
After a brief intermission the stage revealed a ring of lights, three massive projection screens, and enough instruments on stage you could have fooled someone into thinking there were at an Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros show. Then the first few notes of Skyline began to play, and the man of the night had arrived. With a smooth and sultry opening groove, FKJ set into motion the tone of the entire night, especially the end of the song where he went completely off the jazz rails and improved a brilliant piano solo. If you haven’t seen FKJ live before you are in for a quick surprise, as the songs that sound so clean and composed on his recordings take on flare of Jazz. Simply by performing every song live and throwing in jazz elements makes performance a unique yet familiar one.
With no time to process, what had just happened throughout Skyline, as he transitioned from one instrument to the next, essentially acting as conductor and orchestra in synchronicity, FKJ used TUI as a powerhouse transition into Lying Together. A track that is so spicy in nature it had the entire crowd moving and kept that going through the bumping rhythms in unchained. He then really got the crowd moving after a quick feels session of Die with a Smile, with a rendition of Dr. Dre before creating a brand new song up on the spot.
Every song was so seamless, and featured such a rich depth of sound, that you could close your eyes and forget that it was only one person playing all those instruments…
Seeing FKJ improvise a song on the spot, using his full range of piano, guitar, bass, & saxophone was truly watching a master perform their craft. Every song was so seamless, and featured such a rich depth of sound, that you could close your eyes and forget that it was only one person playing all those instruments…that is unless you count the projection of Masego that accompanied him during Tadow. After a through rinsing of one of his classic songs, So Much To Me, FKJ took the feels to another galaxy by bringing out ((( O ))) to perform live vocals to their massive track Vibin’ Out with ((( O ))). By the end of the track FKJ had given us a sample taste of his entire discography sprinkled heavy with some improved jazz.
FKJ then retreated stage, as chants for “One more song” echoed from the roof of the Auditorium. The beckoning chants turned to screams of elation as FKJ came back out to give everyone one last taste. Much to the surprise of everyone he began his encore with another song made up on the spot. Beginning with the beat and looping in vocals he sampled from the crowd, he began to craft a groovy track that again had the Shrine swaying from side to side. That however is when he hit us out of left field with his closing track Instant Need. As the last notes of the song rang out, ever humble FKJ thanked us for coming out and gave us cheers as he sipped a glass of wine with a smile.
FKJ is one of those musicians that you must see live and his latest stop here in Los Angeles proved exactly why. You can catch FKJ’s smooth Jazz stylings for the rest of 2019 on his tour…get your tickets here.