Emmet Cohen Trio
Time taken : ~10mins
Premieres 8 Feb, 9pm SGT
It was all hands on deck—a baby grand piano, a double bass, a stripped-down drum kit, a guitar amp, four cameras and 10 mics, appearances by a guitarist and vocalist, this was perhaps the most elaborate video shoot for Cargo Lift Sessions thus far. It was a breeze though, for New York jazz pianist and bandleader Emmet Cohen, bassist Philip Norris and drummer Kyle Poole, who were in Singapore for two sold-out shows as part of Mosaic Music Series.
After all, this was far from their first digital rodeo: at the height of the pandemic, Cohen began livestreaming from his living room, joined by musicians who lived in his apartment complex. In a time where people were starved for community and the live concert experience, Live from Emmet’s Place quickly built a fervent online fan base that tuned in weekly to see some of New York’s finest: from established musicians like Scott Robinson and Paquito D'Rivera, to vocalists like Lucy Yeghiazaryan and Samara Joy. Now, it has evolved into what The Guardian calls “the most exclusive jazz concert in New York”, with clips from the livestreams garnering millions of views on Cohen’s YouTube page (which now has 168,000 subscribers).
This experience certainly paid off: the video shoot was a one-take affair, with Cohen’s trio playing with ease across 20 minutes. In the spirit of Live From Emmet’s Place, Singapore jazz guitarist Andrew Lim and vocalist Alemay Fernandez joined the trio in the lift too. The energy in the space was palpable and infectious, capturing (if only just a snippet) of jazz’s true essence—a dedicated commitment to the craft and the camaraderie among its most loyal followers.
Video: Marcus Chow
Audio: Andrew Lim
“From a place nowhere near the ocean” is how The Panturas define themselves. Emerging out of landlocked Jatinangor in Indonesia, this cheeky surf rock band breezed into Esplanade in a way that can only be described as effortlessly chill. Before their explosive set at Baybeats 2023, The Panturas squeezed themselves into the lift for two energetic tracks from their 2021 album, Ombak Banyu Asmara.
Since their debut in 2017, Baybeats Budding Bands alumnus Subsonic Eye have become a mainstay in Singapore’s indie scene while also making waves beyond our shores. See: appearances on KEXP and Audiotree live, a USA tour in 2022 (with another one this year) and signing to American indie label Topshelf Records. It’s not hard to see why—the infectious melodies of their guitar-forward songs make them instant earworms, complemented by earnest lyrics delivered through the unique vocal cadence of its lead singer, Wahidah.
Ahead of the live launch of their new album All Around You at Mosaic Music Series, Subsonic Eye made themselves welcome in our cargo lift, planting themselves on the lift floor while surrounded by, well, plants. The band took off with their signature jangly noise rock sound, playing fan favourite Fruitcake from Nature of Things (2021) and Yearning, the first single off their latest record.
The cargo lift was up and running… until an hour before the shoot with the musicians of Lantun Orchestra from Indonesia, who were in Singapore for Pesta Raya – Malay Festival of Arts 2023 in May. Instead of waiting for the lift to be fixed, we relocated to another exclusive space: the trusty basement. Completely unfazed, Lantun Orchestra, founded in 2014 by bassist, composer and arranger Chaka Priambudi, dove straight into the music. Effortlessly charming and bursting with musical chemistry, the sextet performed their jazzy arrangement of popular keroncong and folk songs in Medley Betawi, as well as their original composition Pecinan (Chinatown).
Audio: Andrew Lim
Lit in amber lights and armed with his effect pedal, New York-based jazz trumpeter Marquis Hill filled the cargo lift with his soulful, textured sound, performing an arresting rendition of Law and Order, originally released in his debut record New Gospel (2011) and later rearranged for New Gospel Revisited (2022). The musician, composer and bandleader was here at Esplanade for his sold-out Singapore debut as part of Jazz in July 2023.
Video: Made by Identity
Audio: Andrew Lim