It was the usual cast of characters last night at the Angry Beaver – the Seattle jazz scene -- with one notable exception: Kamasi Washington was in the house. In town for Bumbershoot, he and some of his fellow musicians were on hand and joined in at the end to play the Duke Ellington favorite “Caravan”, with the house band, also bringing up on stage the vocalist from his band, Patrice Quinn and the keyboardist, Brandon Coleman. Cool to see such internationally recognized talent hanging at the local jam session on a Sunday night. As to be expected, Kamasi blew all over Caravan, as tenor saxophone players will do. The rest of the evening was also full of great moments: an accordian player, tap dancing, a drummer who slayed “Footprints”, a great vocalist take on “East of the Sun and West of the Moon”, a funk session, the house band charging as always.
Never thought Field Music would come to Seattle, but they did and a crowd of devoted fans were on hand. So good live. Wasn’t sure how their sound would translate from the records, but they had it dialed. Played the upbeat stuff and the sound was on point, super full for four musicians. (Props to the sound guys at the Croc, which has upheld its long standing reputation has always having great sound.) Cool how the two brothers, David and Peter, swapped between drums and guitar about every couple songs. Both hold their own on each instrument, clearly they have some bro-tuition. Their songs are so avant-pop, always keeping your ear interested, but keeping the groove. And the lyrics hit with these koan-like hooks like “its good to give yourself away.” Banter between songs was hilarious, witty and nice Brits for sure. Played a lot from the new record with some old gems for the fans in the house. Great show.
Missed Nolan Garrett. Caught part of Hazel English. They had a dreamy sound, reminiscent of The Sundays.
Caught Mark Elf at Boxleys. He was backed by the house band. Did some originals and some standards, including “Caravan” by Ellington. Did this cool harmonic number where he played nothing but harmonics, pretty amazing. And lots of great lines, solos, sometimes super fast, sometimes slowed down. Lots of ideas.
Best line, when introducing the band, “And if you didn’t see the marquee, I’m the guitarist, Mark E.” Not the first time he’s used that line.
Hugh Masekela consummate entertainer, half the show anecdotes, the other half tunes. His tone is so gorgeous. Just piano and trumpet, plus his singing and cowbell playing too. Set list was great, including Miriam Makeba tunes, Fats Waller, “Sleepy time Down South”, “Easy Living”, a Stylistics tune, “Grazing In The Grass” and ended with Cantaloupe Island. His vocal delivery mesmerizing, the timbre compelling. Great anecdotes about Miles Davis, living in Manhattan, etc. A must see.
Band playing in the Musicquarium as the show let out, playing “Mercy Mercy Mercy” saw Cole Shuster on the bandstand; he’s a killer jazz guitarist, seen him a lot at The Angry Beaver sessions tearin it up. Listenin to Masekela wax poetic about goin all over NYC to jazz clubs to hear the greats, same thing happening in this town, you can hit three venues in one night and catch a ton of players.
Love shows like this: where amazing players unite for a unique moment, a configuration never been heard before and perhaps never will again. Ed Reed was awesome, had a Bay area vibe about him, singin the standards off that Hartman/Coltrane record plus other standards, him delivering the lyrics with authority. And, Anton Schwartz, who organized the event, provided a great compliment to Reed.
Not kidding when they said a “particularly fine rhythm section” in the blurb: Dawn Clement, piano; Michael Glynn, bass; and D’Vonne Lewis, drums. The three were really in tune on these cuts, esp Clement and Lewis, wonder if they’ve played together before? Prob, this town aint that big. Love hearing/watching Lewis, what a drummer.
They did all the cuts off the record plus other standards like “Body and Soul” and “Something I Dreamed Last Night.” Really cool how Schwartz refracted Reed’s singing, yeah, Schwartz found a ton of nice lines. Reed took a couple breaks and the band got to open up on some other Coltrane tunes, like “Cousin Mary.”
Side note: what’s the deal with Tula’s? Love that space and hope them and Shorty’s can stave of demolition.