Photo by Koichi Hanafusa
Heaven is Here
NST & The Soul Sauce is an all-star Korean band led by Noh Seon Teck aka. Zor on bass and vocals. Like a true band leader, he is front and center in most compositions, but readily defers to his backing band for solos and jams. Behind the beat is Kang Teck Hyun on drum and Lee Jong Min on keyboards,someone well skilled in the art of synthesizer jams or skrunk as jazz fans would say.
Contributing to composition is Smiley Song who offers percussion, melodica, and occasional vocals. And then there is Kim Oki on saxophone, Simun Shai Lee on guitar, and Kim on violin. That’s right, few can imagine a reggae, rock steady crew to include a violin player but it works.
Musicianship is what binds this goruip together and they do much more than play tribute to past greats such as Skatalites, Rico Rodriguez, Jackie Mitto; instead, they bring their own update version to these classic rhythms.
On a hot afternoon, Cafe de Paris was the perfect setting for this group, an oasis in a field of dust. Those who were lucky to grab a table or a chair inside did just that and were treated to some pretty fine reggae and ska rhythms.
At one point, the crowd outside the cafe was nearly as big as it was inside, leading Jason Mayall to get onstage between songs to ask the crowd to move some tables to accomodate a bigger audience. It was a fitting move and brought the audience closer to the band, helping overcome the distance that too frequently seperates musicians and the audience.
At the end of the set, Zor dedicated the performance to Rico Rodriguez, saying “his music is like a present to all of us”. WIth that they went into the song “Heaven is Here”, imploring everyone to enjoy the moment and the gift of music.