Saturday, October 27, 2012

Trio gig becomes much more

When is a trio gig NOT a trio gig? When the bandleader decides at the last minute to add another player without advance notice. Such was the case with yesterday's opener of the South County Jazz Club's new Englewood Art Center concert series in Englewood FL.
Rodney Rojas and Billy Marcus

The 60 or so concert goers expected to hear pianist Billy Marcus's trio with bassist Mark Neuenschwander and Steve Bucholtz. Because one key out of 88 on his electric keyboard was down for the count, without time to get it repaired, Marcus called saxophonist Rodney Rojas to supplement the solid lineup.

It was a wise decision, as the energy and spirit of the music grew exponentially. Highlights: Marcus's spirited romp through "St. Louis Blues," Rojas's artful sense of dynamics and passionate solos all afternoon particularly on "Stardust" and the band's rousing closer, Horace Silver's "Sister Sadie."

This was a great opener for six concerts series at the Englewood Art Center that supplement the South County Jazz Club's 18 other Venice and Sarasota offerings this season. Drummer Ken Loomer's trio performs next in Englewood on November 30.

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