As the sun prepares for bed surrounded by a blue sky with hues of pink and orange, we find that fighting the usual freeway traffic is not an option Friday, May 28th on the kickoff of Memorial Day weekend. It was smooth sailing all the way to San Pedro.
We were about to experience some Jazz History in the making at the lovely and intimate Alva's Showroom in the heart of San Pedro, CA. This gorgegous space is perfect for those that want to experience music in the most unadulterated sense of the word. The showroom sits approximately 60 people. The tables are close but not intrusive and the lighting is subtle and attractive.
Acoustics are sensational, allowing devoted music lovers to dive into a rendezvous of melodic delight.
Host of "Breakfast with Bubba" morning show - KKJZ FM Jazz Station in Los Angeles Renowned Bubba Jackson was Master of Ceremony.
The Elliott Caine Quartet presented a LIVE recording performance that entailed pioneering compositions on the Ballad, Standard, Straight Ahead, Latin, and down home funky unleashed Blues side.
Mahesh Balasooriya - Piano
Elliott Caine - Trumpet
Kenny Elliott - Drums
Nick Mancini - Vibes
Bill Markus - Bass
Carl Randall - Saxophone
Emancipation is a fitting description for the Jazz-filled evening enterprise presented with original pieces, "Mysteriouslee", "Defiance", followed up with "No Way Out".
These tunes are bold and bursting with swinging aromas from Elliott's trumpet, who plays with a reverence for the heart soul of the music that will bring you to tears of joy.
Kenny Elliott adds rousing accents that will have you looking to see what other percussion instruments he possesses with the hat, snare, and brushes. Kenny's a veteran at bringing impeccable swing and drive linked with a keen sensitivity on ballads, standards, straight ahead and any style you want to name.
He keeps you in connected bliss throughout the evening.
"Paying the Price" is an original piece that brought down house with Kenny's drum solo. His colleagues smiled with perceptive nods.
A shout from Carl on Sax brings home the undisputed spirit of joy that comes from a shower in Jazz. He is full of creative harmonic and melodic statements that are simply magnificent. His sensational solo satisfied all. His laid back demeanor can be a bit misleading for when he blows into his horn a stream of originality erupts that is wonderful.
Mahesh on Piano displayed a superb array of tantalizing musical ideas filled with colors and modes that gave a warm and enveloping embrace and a driving force that was spiritual, aromatic, and exhilarating.
"Hippi Chicks on acid" took us back to the 1970's for a moment in time. A very cool piece filled with lots of vamping by Mahesh and Nick, and musical surprises that brought complete accord from the audience.
Nick on Vibes stirred the mix with a combination of funk, blues, jazz grooves that called for lots of blended response. Nick's fervor and control on vibes emerges in a mode that's irresistible.
Elliott is featured on "A Different Beauty" a tune that is true to its title, it’s unique and immensely intoxicating with love and alluring taste. When Elliott speaks through his trumpet it gives a phrase, a cry, and message causing all else to dissolve. That beauty is absolute.
If I can put in one word the Elliott Caine Ensemble evokes passion. There's no way one cannot absorb the message. Elliot's music is food for spirit, soul, and body.
"Little Rio" was Elliott's tribute to his son was very cool. Bill on Bass offered a solo that was tender and alluring keeping you in essence. Bill's deliberate style is coupled with spontaneity and always true to the root of Jazz. Bill and his Bass soar with soul.
There was another tune performed that was a tribute to "Elena" Elliott's daughter. I unfortunately did not obtain the title to that one but it was a very engaging piece with a Bossa feel. Mahesh on Piano shared stirring interaction with Elliott that emphasized his incredible elegance on all 88 keys.
There was an ensemble encore for "Paying the Price" and the audience devotees welcomed it with joy.
A splendid manner to start the holiday weekend or any weekend for that matter was experienced with the Elliott Caine Quintet.
I encourage any lover of Jazz on any level to check out this ensemble and Alva's Showroom for an evening of pleasure.
You will not be disappointed but only further hooked on a great art form.
And, look for the highly anticipated release of this LIVE recording. I'm for certain awaiting the golden treasure for my collection.