I take the train one stop to Williamsburg and I instantly feel better energy. I think it has to do with how much cleaner and less populated it is than the East Village. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely prefer living where I am, I just really appreciate the occasional trek over there. I also really love Zebulon, the vibe, the feel, the way the waitress never gets mad at how many times she has to get through a crowd with a tray of drinks.
This was their first time playing Zebulon, and their first time playing since the Spring. I recall seeing them at both Bowery Ballroom and Jazz Gallery around that time. Both were amazing. The Bowery Ballroom show had special guests Roswell Rudd and Gina Leisham playing the whole set.
Last night included Charlie Burnham, Dave Phelps, Peck Almond and other greats I’m not familiar with: 2 saxes, a trombone, a bass, and a drummer. And of course Peter. Viva DeConcini was there, but in a dress, with a lot of friends in the crowd, and no guitar. Uh oh. Yes, yet another amazing instrumentalist finding great people to back her up while she sings. I think I hold singers up to higher standards because I don’t really see a need for them. This wasn’t always the case for me, and I know I’m in the minority as most people love singing. I remember telling my friend several years ago (over 10) that singing is important to me. Later, the same friend gave me some Phish tapes, and that ended that. I gave them back and asked him to cleanse them by taping over them with The Meters as only that would do. That was when I realized no singing is better than bad singing and that I really the jams the most.
Anyway, Viva sang at a recent benefit show and discovered she loved it, and somehow Peter thought it was a good idea and here we are. They were at Zebulon trying out new material they are recording. The band was amazing, and made up for the mediocre singing a lot. Viva had a lot of enthusiasm and really loved it. I just couldn’t get unstuck with my demand for any singing to be as good as the rest of the performers. I also really want the artists to stick to what they are good at when they play in public. But, hey, now I know and I don’t have to go to that for a while, until she hopefully gets it out of her system or they play a gig with songs from their entire repertoire, which will hopefully be soon. I could handle a couple of songs from this new cd, interspersed with plenty of instrumentals.
There were plenty of solos and a song where she mainly played some rhythm things, like that ribbon looking thing Cyro Baptista uses sometimes. There was also a great grooving instrumental. I was trying to hold out for a Charlie Burnham solo, but found it was enough after about 45 minutes.