Music / “Groovin’ to the tip of yr!”, Bella Groove. At Smith’s Different, Civic, December 18. Reviewed by ROB KENNEDY.
GROOVIN’ to the sounds of jazz by Bella Groove was the right technique to wash away a irritating yr of cancelled concert events, modified applications and disruptions within the native music trade.
The road-up of musos in Bella Groove was Elsie Walsh, flute/vocals; Ross Buchanan, keys; Matt Lustri, guitar/vocals; Steve Richards, drums and Phill Dick, bass.
“Get Movin”, an authentic work by Walsh, opened the primary set. This funky drum-driven piece through which each member obtained their solo highlight created a vivid begin. Through the solo flute, it reminded of “When the Saints go Marching in”. It was tight, collectively and extremely danceable.
In a whole slowdown in each means, “December Chorus”, one other Walsh tune walked alongside to a deep mellow flute melody. Completely beautiful, particularly the brushed drums.
“Vocabulary”, was the primary tune Walsh sang and what a sultry set of pipes she has. Robust and dynamic throughout her ranges. A enjoyable and attractive tune with scatting. Walsh is aware of how you can swing.
A Matt Bianco tune adopted “Get Out of Your Lazy Mattress”. With Lustri singing and on guitar, his voice had a great edge, which blended nicely with Walsh’s backing. An upbeat work with guitar fireworks and nice rhythm.
“Feeling Groovy”, by Paul Simon got here subsequent. This tune instructed the story of this tight combo. They’re all about groove and making the viewers really feel positive. This free and superbly tailored tune confirmed what an completed flautist Walsh is.
Switching to electrical bass, Phill Dick drove “Woman Day and John Coltrane”, by Gil Scott Heron. This pushing tune had a gritty really feel with a strong solo from Buchanan on keys. It maintained its robust drive proper to the final be aware.
To complete the set, “Ready”, one other Walsh authentic. A pop-like tune that had playful and childlike lyrics, with a lot of na-na’s.
To open the ultimate set, “Operating to the Sea”, by Walsh. An atmospheric tune with full of life taking part in from all performers produced a decent tune that jogged my memory of the best way jazz was utilized in ’70s motion pictures. It ended with a powerful and extremely particular person solo drum end by Richards.
Inviting a number of of Walsh’s singing college students to the stage, three feminine vocalists for “As. I’ll be Loving You All the time” by Stevie Surprise. Whereas standing somewhat too removed from the mic, the trio struggled to be heard. However they grew in confidence and created an important rendition.
Then, as advised by Lustri, a quasi-Bollywood rendition of “God relaxation ye merry, gents”. Funky, with a rock really feel, possibly even bordering on psychedelic, it entertained. Plenty of enjoyable it was.
To complete the gig, one other Walsh authentic, “Bananas”. Rhythmic with wah-wah keys, the lighting even obtained into the groove, swirling the gamers in a multi-coloured array. When the sawtooth synth from the keys got here in, it introduced up the vibe. What a mix of timbres this owned. It had the viewers transferring as solos rained down.
Then an encore request from an viewers member introduced concerning the Horace Silver traditional, “Strollin”. It neatly ended this groovy gig, and a messed-up yr; 2023 will likely be higher.
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Ian Meikle, editor