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Monday Nights at the Guadalupe Café (3)

I don't want to say more than a few words about the second set, in which guests were invited to sit in, other than to say that the music was wonderful, especially the interplay of drum and bass. The drummer was channeling some spirit of New Orleans, and Wells, holding the bottom down, was picking up on every percussive cue, shifting into double time, and then back into shuffle.

It is the first set that I want to discourse upon. Strangely chill yet out there ... Imagine a chestnut like "Autumn Leaves" filtered through an Ornette Coleman harmonic machine... The mood was controlled, mid-tempo or ballad, but Tyler seemed to be playing his tenor with a new harmonic complexity and a near total avoidance of cliché. Maybe if Lee Konitz played tenor, and had spent some time in, what? ... Kansas City, 1938? That was what it sounded like ... Soulful vibratto, struttin' and growlin', yet without a single stock riff.

As good as Wells was hittin' it on the bass (he was just there, swinging madly, without drawing attention to himself) and Tyler was blowing that tenor saxophone, I think the night belonged to the drummer. He spent a good part of the evening stirring with the brushes (I like to imagine them as fly swatters). It wasn't really a high-hat night, more of a bass/snare jazz-funkathon. I wonder if he even realized that a New Orleansian ghost was pulsing through him?

The trio is evolving as a combo and constantly evading my expectations.


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February 2018

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