Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Ralph Bowen at the Yardbird Suite Feb 23, 2008

The Edmonton Jazz Society often brings musicians from afar, and pairs them with Edmonton musicians - giving audiences a unique experience, and local musicians a chance to mix and practice their skills with new faces. This synergy brought us Ralph Bowen on sax, and Steve Kirby on bass. And matched them up with local Chris Andrew on piano and Sandro Dominelli on drums.

Ralph has appeared at the Suite before, with Free Trade. His sound has been defined as 'casual perfection'. I found to to be easy to relax, soak up the clear clean notes, and just chill. Steve Kirby has never been at the Suite before, and he impressed a lot of the locals. I heard a few say he was the hi-lite of the evening. On the other hand, experience tells me that, especially in jazz, we often de-value our locals, because we hear them often. Steve is also a working hard in the Winnipeg jazz scene and trying to get a club started. He has a day job (or two or three, like many musicains) and will need some assistance. We do wish him success in this venture.

Chris and Sandro are rock solid local jazz musicians. Chris is one of Edmonton's hardest workers 'at his music'. He never lets up and can always be counted on for an interesting, musically intelligent performance. Juno nominated Sandro Dominelli was in perfect, tasteful time as the quartet grooved into Saturday night. His energetic solo performances added some spice to the mix. I have been involved with the Suite for many years, and my experience is that mixed groups often do better on the Saturday than Friday. But there were more than a few audience members who came on Friday -- and were so impressed they returned on Saturday for more.

My Yardbird Suite photo galleries

Yardbird Suite website

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