Anticipation for a well-liked act coming to town is often enough reason to get through a long day, but nothing can beat a case of the Mondays better than a surprise show from a band not on the radar. Especially if that ensemble is a trio of New Orleans jazz fusion artists that are gracing your local hang out for free. Brotherly Love Productions played their cards right on making it an open door night for the impromptu Voodoo Town show - a gamble on the South Florida faithful representing on short notice. It paid off.
The Buddha was retrofitted for lounge listening mode, complete with plush chairs and sofas. The 30 or so patrons smoked hookahs and sipped craft beers as Tom slipped on his bass, Trace picked up his trumpet and Brandon twiddled his sticks. The first set moved through their catalog of yet to be recorded tunes, as well as intermittent covers of "Pink Panther Theme" and "Chameleon." Some how they made the staple anthems really their own. The sound was unique and fresh - a perfect mixture of a funky rhythm section and a jazzy trumpet that incorporated a myriad of effects and loops. To top things off Trace also showcased some skills as a beat boxer and rapping vocalist. The combination was a rich, balanced sound that traversed the technical genre spectrum in a way that appealed to both the adept jazz freak and the grooving funk head.
The second set opened up the chance for some sit ins with our own local musicians. First Travis Ackers took over the bass reigns for an extended jam before being joined by band mate Cameron Troy on drums. They launched into another extended improvise section. Interestingly enough, the trio including Trace on horns was a flashback to when these guys all played together in Tallahassee years ago. Much like conversation with an old friend, they picked up right where they left off, and the communication was noteworthy to say the least. Cameron stuck around for a take on George Gershwin's "Summer Time" before another audience member, Jessie Ricca, jumped in on acoustic guitar for a quick jam and "So What". A fitting end to a stellar night of creativity clashes was a solid rendition of "When The Saints Go Marching In" with Cameron playfully filling in on bongos. Despite the week night status, no one wanted to leave just yet, as the buzz was pretty high. After a few night caps and laughs the early morning finally sent us home satisfied with our dose of NOLA.
Videos courtesy of Adam F. at Cheesehead Productions