And what a Thursday night it turns out to be since the Bay Street venue added jazz to its mix in late June. The featured band usually includes trumpeter Dan Miller and tenor saxophonist Lew Del Gatto (a quarter-century "Saturday Night Live" band alumnus) plus a bassist and drummer.
In a rathskeller-styled room, with superb acoustics, Miller & Co. had an easy choice for the opener: Monk's "Straight, No Chaser." Favorite treatments included their blistering take on "What Is This Thing Called Love," an extensive workout of Nat Adderley's "Work Song" and Augustin's featured solo on the tenor classic "Body and Soul."
climactic solo on "Caravan."
It is great to see more and more fine talent gravitating to the area. Robertson, who sometimes subs in the Count Basie Orchestra, moved to Southwest Florida in June after earning a master's of music degree in jazz studies at Florida State University. He begins work in the fall as an adjunct professor running the jazz program at Florida Gulf Coast University.
Augustin, who started studying with Miller when he was 13, is a Fort Myers native who moved back to the area after several years on the L.A. music scene.
The Barrel Room opened in late April as an annex to Twisted Vine Bistro. Owners Steve and Denice Hollister are Chicago-style blues lovers, hence the heavier dollop of blues programming. Kevin Blinkal manages the music room.
Given the overlaps and historic association of jazz and blues, the Jazz Thursday program is a natural fit. Long may it prosper. And if last night's off-season packed house was any sign, it will.
|Augustin, Vigilante, Robertson, Miller|