There was a spectacular departure that took off from Crowne Plaza's Lounge, only minutes away from the Los Angeles International Airport known to most of us as simply (LAX) with Fuasi Khaliq and his roaring yet beautiful ensemble on July 31.
They presented a series of in flight adventures for those interested in excitement, ecstasy, and excellent execution of innovative compositions.
The band consisted of the following musicians.
Fuasi Khaliq - Saxophones & varied percussion instruments
Ramon Banda - Drums
Jeff Littleton - Bass
Austin Peralta - Piano
The set kicked off with a novel piece, "Funk in a deep freeze" followed with a Horace Tapscott tune, "As a child".
A clean, bright and tantalizing effect was present throughout the room as Fuasi's warm effect clothed us in a soprano love sphere. Woo, Hoo!!! Please don't stop the enchanting sounds!
"Push Cart" a piece written by Fuasi that he shared was a "Friendship Song".
It featured Fuasi on vocals as well as Horn sharing a blues-feel, syncopated, swing sensational mode with his voice captivating the audience.
The piece was originally written with regards to a theater piece about the life of the great musician Charlie Parker.
Jeff Littleton on Bass was superb, adding a drive and groove that kept me on the edge of the seat. All was mellow and harmoniously sweet.
Austin Peralta, often noted as a "prodigy" in some circles presented all kinds of runs, astounding concepts, arpeggios and musical ideas while paying attention to the perspicuous chiefs in the band. I like the phrase intuitive innovator over "prodigy".
Austin possesses a skill that is at the very core of music - the ability to listen...and instinctively come in and share himself with humility, grace, and appreciative respect for his comrades. At the same time he is amazing to hear and watch...more importantly to experience with the entire ensemble.
Ramon Banda, a sensational musician in his own rite gave another glorious performance that was drenched in soul and the very essence of the music. It is always the ultimate pleasure to engage within any musical voyage with this wonderful soul.
A tremendous trade of 4's followed up with trills, chord progressions; extraordinary control on the instrument was delivered by Fuasi and the band on a tune, "Anansi" another Fuasi original. He shared that "Anansi, is a cultural character of West African lore/legend and depicted as a spider in the folktale.
The atmosphere at the Crowne was fervent while steadfast as the musicians continued to light the Jazz inferno during the evening. Fuasi brought about an amalgamation between the audience and ensemble that was magical between tunes.
Lee Morgan's "Double Up" washed all the 9 to 5 blues away from me as the ensemble proceeded lay out this soulful tune and share quotes from a variety of standards within their solos.
Always, pay attention to the Blues...no matter what the Jazz tune!
The ensemble shared other tunes equally as enduring as the ones mentioned here throughout the night.
What a great night of music and engagement.
The Crowne Plaza is located at 5985 West Century Blvd, in Los Angeles, CA.
(310) 642-7500. Thursday Night Jazz present with No Cover charge but a food and drink minimum is required. Also call the Jazz hotline for further information. (310) 258-1333.
Got a red-eye flight leaving from LAX on a Thursday? Why not stop by the Crowne for a meal, drink and some great music before your flight by air.