Wow, I feel like I am getting behind on the posts. I have three I am trying to draft but don’t have the time to finish. Damn thesis!
However, I thought I would leave a quick “experience” comment for the Gonzalo Rubalcaba show I went to last night.
First of all, I have never been to a Jazz “show” before, or in other words, I have never gone to a show specifically for the purpose of seeing a Jazz musician, until last night. I’ve gone to bars where Jazz musicians were playing, and I’ve been to hundreds of metal, punk, and concert/shows et al, but this was different beast altogether.
First of all (and don’t worry, I will mention the music later), is Jazz music pretty much a yuppy enterprise these days? Because that’s the impression I got looking at the demographic from last night. I always thought that Jazz was a venue for pushing musical as well as artistic boundaries, not a music type for the 50-something crowd to listen to on their Friday night while swilling 12 dollar martinis that taste like Vermouth soaked rubbing alcohol? I know because I had one and I was greatly disappointed with it. Gonzalo played at Yoshi’s, a place I have never been to, and I thought it was going to be a smokey Jazz joint (minus the smoke of course, because it’s illegal to smoke in doors in California), but instead it was a yuppy hangout, where I could get a 15 dollar salmon roll and a 5 dollar Budweiser in a bottle–come on!
The guys I rolled in with, and myself, were way under-dressed for the occasion, as everyone else in the venue was dressed like they had just come from a board meeting or fund raiser, whereas we were dressed like we had just came from drinking pitchers at the local watering hole, which we had. So, yeah, we stuck out, but we also enjoyed the music.
The music was mesmerizing, complex, loud, soft, fast, and slow. It was pretty much an hour and a half solo session where each member of the band would go off for ten minutes at a time, especially Gonzalo himself. It was all over the place. One of the coolest things the band did was incorporate different musical elements, like Motown, Cuban, Big Band, but each time they would bring in a new element, they would jump back into the jazz with ease, which made for an interesting listening experience.
I highly recommend seeing this group live, but try not to see them at Yoshi’s lest the yuppies get the best of you.