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TaxiWars

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Feel it. The sticky faux leather of the backseat. Smell it. A whiff of alcohol, mixed with the driver’s cologne.
You can almost taste it: the fear of being conned, the terror of a high-speed crash, the promise of excitement just around the corner. Taxi rides are all of that. Tom Barman loves them. “It’s like indoor travelling,” he says. “It’s cosmopolitan. It’s the rush of not knowing exactly where you’re going. It’s part of the art of living far from home. ” Sounds like a definition of jazz, if ever there was one.
And TaxiWars is jazz. This is not rock singer Tom Barman crooning away with a jazz trio led by saxophonist Robin Verheyen. This is a jazz band with a deep knowledge of the music’s history, and a love for the driving jazz of the early sixties on the Impulse! label. The music of Pharaoh Sanders, Archie Shepp, and Charles Mingus – full of swing, pulse, and the urge to break out of the genre’s confinements.
TaxiWars display high energy and sensitivity, pride and ambition, and a punkiness that sets the band apart from the plush jazz scene, all thanks to Belgian saxophonist Robin Verheyen’s punchy, melodic lines and Tom Barman’s haunting lyrics. “The idea came to me four years ago, when I first met Robin, ” Barman says. “I knew he could deliver the goods: we’ve recorded together with Magnus. I wanted TaxiWars to be sharp, to the point, punky and trashy – much like the band Morphine. Long solos were no-go. ”

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