ON THE SCENE WITH HOWARD LONDNER
Analog Honking Device
Cynthia Mullis – tenor sax
Brent Jensen – soprano sax
Steve Kim – electric bass
Chris Symer – acoustic bass
Chris Icasiano – drums
Wayward Music Series
Chapel Performance Space
Let’s begin by thanking the Wayward Music Series for presenting this fine concert, other past performances, and music that will be forthcoming.
Also, if anyone knows of another venue, or hall, or space that regularly has jazz, and has better acoustics, and depth and definition for the performer’s instruments in the PNW, please tell me about it.
The harshest criticisms I can make about tonight concert are that Mr. Kim was sometimes too loud during his solos, and that the band played the Girl from Ipanema … I hate that tune! Otherwise, this concert was just GREAT!
There was a set list, Monk tunes, etc.The thing is, the band would start playing the head, their way, still very recognizable, and go from there. It was free, and it had swing. This music was free, and didn’t disrespect itself or where it came from.
The harmonies were incredible. Ms. Mullis and Mr. Jensen had some fantastic harmony going on. Brent, how do you get such a big full sound out of that little horn? Steve Kim and Cynthia also had some good melodic harmony happening.
Rhythmically the two Chris’ were taking us to town. There are many reasons Chris Symer is a great sideman. One reason is a kind of instinct he has to understand how to back a cat up and make him sound great. Of course, playing bass really well doesn’t hurt either. Chris Icasiano knew exactly what he was doing on drums. The right amount swing, the proper amount of free, always kinda edgie, always right with everybody else.
Cynthia Mullis did a wonderful job putting all this together, and her tenor was there, full and swinging.
If you missed this gig … you messed up! Lucky for you, it was recorded by Steve Kennedy-Williams (sounds almost as good as live.).
If Cynthia decides to release it, I recommend you buy it. Thanks to Cynthia and her bandmates for a great set of music.