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A musical tapestry
Saturday, 02.12.2017, 20:20
oh what a night...
Elliott Brood
+ Howe Gelb Duo
On a crosscountry flight by the Dave Brubeck Quartet as told by Paul Desmond, their great alto sax man: «First the salesman in the second row would say to the bass player ‘You gonna tuck that under your chin…
…and play some music for us?’ Then the stewardess would ask ‘What band are you in?’ and we’d say ‘Actually we’re the Dave Brubeck Quartet.’ When the flight got comfortably under way she would sit with us and ask ‘How many are you there in the quartet?» 

Maybe she’d have had an easier time with tonight’s line up, a duo and a trio. First up is the Howe Gelb Duo, led by the master on piano. We’re quite sure you’ve heard of Howe Gelb, singer-songwriter, Giant Sand originator, Arizona desert rocker, tireless frequent flyer and what not. Especially considering his numerous visits to our premises. There’s a good chance he’ll open up a few more pages of his acclaimed 2016 «Future Standards» tonight, his solo album that touches on early gospel and rhythm and blues. It’s his jazz-tinged, genre bending contribution to the American Songbook. 

Elliott Brood isn’t a guy but a trio from Canada and they are a triple threat with their proficiency on a number of instruments that you’d have a hard time getting from a bigger band. Mark Sasso on banjo, guitar, harmonica, ukulele, kazoo and lead vocals, Casey Laforet on acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass pedals, keys, lap steel, ukulele, lead and backing vocals and Steve Pitkin on percussion, drums, piano, sampler and backing vocals. Style wise, they’re situated in the quarters of alt-country and loud’n’heavy rock’n’roll-played-straight and the band’s got 5 albums out to prove it. Other labelling would include «death country» and «black grass» (also a superior smoke). Their latest cd is titled «Ghost Garden» and Glide Magazine called it «A complex layering and melding of country, bluegrass, folk and rock to form a musical tapestry that is equally beautiful and bleak.» Says a line in the song «Write It All Down For You - And why would you kill this world my son? And why would you leave it all for naught?» (why indeed?), introducing a more pensive side of this rabbel rousing power trio.

«The quality in music I considered most important were beauty, simplicity, originality, discrimination and sincerity.» (Paul Desmond). It goes without saying you’ll get plenty of that tonight. Who knows Howe and Elliott Brood might end the night in an all-out jam together. We can’t be sure but that’d be a pretty explosive quintet wouldn’t it? Never mind that it would get the stewardess in trouble again.
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