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Monday Nights at the Guadalupe Café (2)

Last night, being a Monday night, I was at Guadalupe's. I'm posting today just to say that the band is getting sicker and sicker. Get yourself some Thermoflu cuz these dudes (Tyler and Wells and the drummer who drives from Asheville) are ill!

Last week was around a full moon, and the cats were flirting with "out," but yesterday, it was all about keeping a lid on it ... and under that lid ... beaucoup de power. You could use a race car metaphor - driving fast, but without losing control for even an instant.

The fact is that Tyler is at the top of his game, gettin' wicked and nasty on the tenor (or sweet or savory). Last night, I would expect him to start his solos in the Sonny Rollins way, with a bold opening statement, but he would choose rather to start subtly and then build in intensity, which he could afford to do, since the rhythm section was kicking. I guess I'm saying that he was messing with my expectations, toying with my ears. He's devious like that.

You may be used to hearing rock bands that play together all of the time and have such a sense of each other's playing that they develop a communal vibe. Well, jazz guys can often skip the eons of rehearsal that rock bands need, because they share a theoretical common ground and a basic knowledge of tunes, a common repertoire. This is one of the beauties of jazz. A cat from Milwaukee can sit with a cat from Oklahoma City and a drummer from Seattle, and never having heard each other play before ... zoom... Off they go.

This group was like that. They sounded great from the start, due to their solid individual talents and their knowledge. But now, after playing together for two months, they are starting to gel and anticipate and read each other in that way that rock musicians sometimes do. The difference is that it is at a higher level of sophistication and complexity. It's a beautiful thing to behold.

I can hear the differences from one week to the next. It's exciting to experience this evolving adventure in jazz.

The running joke is that I am president of the Tyler Kittle fan club. I guess I can live with that.




August 2018



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