Such was the case on Monday, December 8, when the New England-based jazz man performed in the Charlotte County Jazz Society's concert series. He visits every two years for a Port Charlotte stop and a few other gigs in the area. And why not? It's a great way to escape harsher northern weather for a few days.
As is sometimes the case in jazz - and is always the goal - this band locked in on Abate's concept and performed with a cohesive chemistry that was very special.
The evening's highlights were Abate's grooving interplay with the rhythmic section members at various points. He and Goodman locked in mightily on another original, the burner "Roger Over and Out." He and Bokulic had some wonderful solo conversations on "Contemplation," and the Abate-Drexler teasing back-and-forth intro to "Body and Soul" was delightful.
Abate is one of the masters of seamlessly dropping in quotes from other tunes, as ideas pour through him - and out of his horn. He just does it faster than most other players and then moves on to something else. The original samba "Bittersweet" saw him work in snippets of Freddie Hubbard's "Sunflower" and The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby." On the closer, "All the Things You Are," which Abate dedicated to the audience, came bits of "Lullaby of Birdland," "I Love You" and, in the spirit of the season, "Sleigh Ride." "Winter Wonderland" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" also popped into his ideas earlier in the evening.
|Bokulic, Drexler, Abate, Goodman