Photo Gallery: Jon Gordon @ Alias Coffee, 03/23/2023
The rear room of Troy’s Alias Coffee continues to be a jazz showcase. Joe Barna invited NYC-based musicians bass player James Robbins, pianist Jon Elbaz, and Winnipeg-based saxophonist Jon Gordon to play in a concert.
The quartet provided an evening of straight-ahead jazz, primarily of originals, each of the musicians bringing their own style to the table and at the same time being great listeners so that they could comp each other.
James Robbins displayed his thorough joy in keeping the beat with wild gyrations of his head and face as his left hand flew across the neck of the bass and his right plucked or bowed the strings to achieve the desired low end of the performance.
Jon Elbaz is one of several up-and-coming pianists in the NYC jazz scene. His virtuosity wowed the audience when he was comping or when he was soloing, his blazing fast right-hand unusual trills, and when the situation called for it, his left was equally adept.
Jon Gordon’s saxophones were a joy to hear; as his fingers danced across the keys, the tones mostly expressed joy and happiness.
Joe Barna’s drums provided the beat, and frequently the fill as he and Robbins frequently exchanged these roles. They were continually watching and listening to each other, eager to fill or back up the others’ notes.
Original compositions of the autobiographical “The Heights,” a song dedicated to a friend, “The Wolf,” and “Wes is More” are based upon the guitar stylings of the late Wes Montgomery.
Standards played included the swinging “Jeanine” made famous by Cannonball Adderly and a Joe Henderson-influenced reading of “Miles Ahead.”
More exciting performances are coming up:
4/11-4/12- A live recording of a new album, “The Heights,” featuring Stacy Dillard on sax, Tarik Shah on Bass, and Davis Whitfield on piano.
6/13- Two giants of the tenor saxophone Ralph Lalama and the world-renowned Joe Lovano.
All in a space that holds 100 people at the most. One of many venues that promise an exciting spring for jazz fans in the 518.
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