What do you get when you combined a badass funky bass player, one of the best saxophonists ever, a great drummer, a guitar player in his zone, and a lot of unplanned improvisation? Pretty amazing music! Last night was way beyond my expectations. Way beyond. I expected another mellow night.
Now, the other night at Zebulon was great, but it was really seeing Skerik in that kind of mode and Simon Lott was doing his thing. Gamble was fine, just not as good as I’ve seen him at other times. But last night was just a completely different level. I kind of melted into the music a few times last Sun. But, a few others who were there didn’t appreciate it as much and wanted more intensity, more of what they are accustomed to with Skerik.
Last night, it was really the bass player, Jamaaladeen Tacuma from Philly, that was laying it down and helping things take it’s turn. I keep wondering if he might turn up at Sullivan Hall tonight. Not that it isn’t already spectacular, that would just add something. He started off most of the songs in the 1st set, laying down a groove. I was the only one grooving, so regular people, while mesmerized and loving it, might not say grooving. The bass was definitely grooving most of the time, and no one can deny that. What was so wonderful was that everyone melded together really well, but kind of doing what they felt was right. Most of it was really intense, but it also got a little mellow at times, the perfect times. Tacuma could also get mellow and blend in with what he was hearing from the rest of the unit. It really felt more like a unit than 4 different artists jamming together.
It was like that was the show I’d been waiting for. I realize it was probably since the last time I saw Skerik, last summer with Garage a Trois at Lion’s Den. That was just too long of a lull. Way too long.
2nd set was different. I can’t really say even better because it was all so phenomenal. But, we had Daniel Carter up there the whole time. Jessica Lurie joined in after the 1st “song”, or I guess break between improvisations.
They did at one point break into one interpretation of the super funky “Papa Was a Rolling Stone”. Oh yeah! Tacuma had started that bass line and the rest of them were feeling it. If you are only going to do one song, that’s a great one to do!
Every moment of the music was like that, each of them just feeling exactly what would work in whatever was going on.
There was somewhat of a crowd, but it wasn’t too hot or crowded. There were a few talkers in the back, but easy to drown out. Overall, it was just right. I don’t even really need tonight. Well, actually, I do. But, last night was so good it doesn’t matter what tonight is like.