|Morgan, Lamb, Chrupcala|
Pianist Mac Chrupcala, who is based in Newport RI most of the year but snowbirds in Southwest Florida, performed with a powerhouse trio, featuring John Lamb on bass and Dave Morgan on drums. He also brought a special guest who sat in at the end of the first set and most of the second set.
Suffice it to say, Aland made many new musical fans on Friday. Heck, Chrupcala only heard him for the first time Tuesday night at a Sarasota sushi bar (Kazu's 2.0) - and invited him to Friday's gig.
The music was fun and swinging from start to finish, with Chrupcala telling the band up front that he considered this a trio of equals - and to feel free to play with the same zeal as if they were the leaders. They got the message.
Finest moments (although there were fine moments all afternoon): Chrupcala's extended exploration of "Have I Stayed Too Long at the Fair?" and the band's quartet takes on "Poinciana" and Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt's ballad "Nuages." The latter was a natural choice with a violinist in the mix, reminding many in the room of Django's classic collaborations with Stéphane Grappelli.