I've got a few minutes so I'll throw this out there...
Marco Benevento has been doing a Tuesdays In February residency with various groups at the Oakland Yoshi's. Last night was the third of four but the first one I saw.
The first Tuesday was his trio, which I've seen and wasn't much interested in seeing again; the second Tuesday was him with two drummers and Skerik on sax, a show I REALLY wanted to see but actually forgot about (bummer) and last night was Marco with local drummer Scott Amendola, Jeff Parker on guitar & Devin Hoff on bass, with a sit-in from a local sax player I'd never heard of but who was REALLY good.
I'm a huge fan of Amendola so I made sure to get to this show (making the tough choice of this show over our own Zoner heroes the Dedicated Maniacs) and I'm really glad I did.
It was groovy, quiet, sophisticated and SPACY "new" jazz with lots of trippy improvisations. I've seen Benevento a number of times over the years to various satisfaction, but last night was the best I've heard him. He is a really articulate, creative young player, but most of the times I've seen him in the past his playing has been scattered, at times seeming a bit preoccupied with electronic weirdness. But on this night his playing was much more focused, playing only a grand piano with just a few of his usual odd sound effects, which he used really well to add weird color to the music and not so much as the front of what he was doing, and his great talent really shined.
There was a $16 early show, which was very good and had a gentle flow but was a little tentative and quiet (this group has never played together before) and a $10 late show. There was about 100 people at the early show (a little less than half full) and we were invited to stay for the late show, which of course I did, and that filled the place closer to 200.
The late show was much stronger and more direct, but also had the more "outside" group improvisations that really went into some great, very psychedelic places that were fully explored, with Benevento leading the way with subtle but brilliant playing through-out.
Amendola is a great drummer who plays so softly but FLIES, and can hang with and lead the music no matter how weird and improvisational it gets. It seems that every group he plays with gets seriously weird, and there was some great weird last night.
The guitar was almost all rhythm and color with only a couple of solo's, but he was really good and he fit right in.
This was a really excellent two set night of stylish top-dollar improvisational music with some of the best players around for $16, and I plan on being there next Tuesday for the last of his four nights at Yoshi's...
Marco Benevento's Quartet The Killer, playing all Neil Young compositions, featuring Joe Russo on drums, Peter Aphelbaum on sax & Josh Roseman on trombone; again all EXCELLENT players.
It should be a hoot.
Sounds great! I've talked about these shows with a couple people but haven't managed to pull the trigger on any of them. Maybe next week...it does sound interesting!
I plan on going next Tuesday Em. Wouldn't miss a tribute to Neil Young. Drop me a line and maybe we can carpool or something like that
Cool, I'll keep that in mind...I think Rory may be interested too