With co-leader Dan Miller out of town, tenor saxophonist Lew Del Gatto brought in guitarist Frank Portolese to join the fun for the weekly quartet gig at The Barrel Room in downtown Fort Myers on Thursday, December 9.
|Lew Del Gatto|
Lou could have gone on and on with the seemingly endless choices, but didn't. This wasn't a medley of brief snippets. Each tune got an extended instrumental exploration that showcased the players' strong chops, soloing skills, and cohesiveness as a band. Chicago native Portolese fit well in the band, displaying a musical sensitivity that underscored his blistering bebop lines.
They then dug into Sonny Rollins' "Doxy" and closed the first set with a romp through the Gershwin brothers' "I Got Rhythm."
|Len Pierro, Lew Del Gatto|
They were "Billie's Bounce, an F-major blues that Charlie Parker composed and recorded in 1945 and may have named for the secretary of Dizzy Gillespie's business agent Billy Shaw; Brooks Bowman's classic "East of the Sun (and West of the Moon)" and Lester Young's Count Basie band staple "Lester Leaps In."
Portolese, whose playing is influenced by Barney Kessel and Joe Pass, blazed his way through his inventive solo passages, particularly on "East of the Sun," and the band was right with him. This was no wistful ballad version.
These are fine players all the time and in any context.
|Del Gatto, Vigilante, Portolese, Robertson|