I've really warmed up to the Vanguard. I'm not going to be able to stay away in Sept. Check out that lineup! I also couldn't miss this octet. I decided close to 5 yesterday that last night would be good, so I called and made a res for 9. It was a show you don't have to have a res, but you can get a better seat if you do, and as I learned with Brian Blade, they treat you a little better. I think they treat you pretty well regardless there.
I now know where I want to sit and they're pretty laid back about that. I got a great seat right up front where I could basically see as much as possible. The only one I couldn't see at all was Matt Maneri. The saxes were up front, on the floor in front of the stage. Tony had a soprano and tenor. Chris had an alto, tenor and baritone. They always played different ones. To my left was the piano, out on the extended stage. It's kind of neat how they can add stage. Matt was behind the piano and I couldn't see him because Tony was blocking him for me. Next to Matt on the perimeter was the upright bass and then in the very back center was Jerome Harris on the other kind of acoustic bass. Over to my right was Cardenas and behind him Ben Monder on guitars. They both brought a different sound and I loved it when they played together.
Right in the center of it all was Motion. I could see him better than any other time, but he was still obstructed a little. He would pull me in often to just focus on his playing. I love how he hits the cymbals. There was one tune where whatever he was doing really got me. It was a little repetitive, and somewhat grooving, while the rest of the music was a little lively.
It was so rich. They featured different people at different moments. Everybody got plenty of solos, but there were also awesome moments where we'd get the 2 guitars or the 2 saxes each playing different things that melded really well.
This was an allstar lineup and they were at their usual level of greatness. If I had to choose a favorite moment out of all the great ones, I would say it was Jerome's solo, which I enjoyed immensely.
They were offering the 2nd set for a 1 drink minimum, not even an additional cover. I didn't want to stay up, but I'm sure it was great.
This is well worth it.
July 29 - Aug 03
PAUL MOTIAN OCTET
Chris Cheek-sax, Tony Malaby-sax, Mat Maneri-vla,
Ben Monder-g, Steve Cardenas-g, Jerome Harris-b,