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Multiples of one 

Max Tundra, Seahorse, 10:30pm

Ben Jacobs (aka Max Tundra) energized the fairly packed Seahorse crowd with inventive music – turns, twists and shifts aplenty – but also with his dedicated dancing. A short man, his arms were surprisingly long and he flailed them tirelessly, like a multi-armed mythical creature.

Multiplicity was the night’s theme. Tundra’s arms reached into (chart and guitar-oriented) pop, R&B, rock, fusion jazz, dance (some surprisingly harder house included) and Todd Rundgren-inspired experimentalism.

The focus, the unifying force, was the little man in the striped shirt. Jacobs knew his material down to its very moments, its very seconds, whether snapping his fingers in the air when programmed finger-snaps shot through the muggy air, plucking a few notes on a (likely borrowed) Gibson Les Paul guitar, playing melodica or delivering a “thank you very much” on virtually the last note and beat of his manic tunes. Very tight!

With old-school, chunky white headphones, he played some banging bass-driven beats and the crowd, especially a ring of supporters up front, responded with hands in the air and feet leaving the floor. But most often he jumped between keys and piano, filling the Seahorse with some fine early-era synths.

Despite the mass of words his songs usually involve, Jacobs sings steadily and well. Hopefully the follow-up to 2002’s Mastered by Guy at the Exchange draws on his vocal skill.

Perhaps the only disappointment was the lack of merchandise, as he likely would’ve had people buying his record. Still, he asked for email addresses to be left so he could send an MP3 of a new song. (It’s worth checking him out at Clearly enjoying himself, Max Tundra has made friends in Halifax. He should come back.

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