I had to soak my feet in Epson salt, and had my wife massage my neck late Friday night after your concert at Orchestra Hall. John, you put on a memorable show. (The best I experienced so far this year). I’m certain other attendees had to soak their feet too. I bobbed my head; I patted and stomped my feet non-stop. Your music was the engaging and eclectic.
You had the crowd pumped on “Green Tea” and “You Bet”. Then you calmed them when you played a ballad softly like a lullaby. You forgot to announce the title, and tell us which of your many albums the ballad appeared. You concluded the first set with a fast tempo number, which I thought was a taste of how hard you, the drummer and the bassist planned to swing during the second set. You and bassist Matthew Penman worked feverishly on the closer like ditch digger’s shovels.
During the intermission, I noticed that I had worn an hole in the left sole of my left leather boot I sported, stomping like a lunatic when drummer William Stewart played soloed on” Strangeness in the Night,” which changed tempos as many times as a runway model switched outfits. I enjoyed William the most. The drummer never abused his drums. William’s lush and sophisticated matter was comparable to drummer Joe, a session drummer for Blue Note Records during it heyday. Chambers had a soft drumming style.
Frankly, John, I was glad you gave the audience a twenty-minute breather before you started the next set. We needed the time to recoup. So did my left foot and ears. The cashier in Orchestra Hall’s gift shopped noted I was physique. She asked if I had enough stamina left to hear the second set. My left foot was definitely ready to split, but my ears begged for more.
You started the second set with a ballad. That caught me off guard. Then you guys played an obscure Charlie Parker composition titled “Wee,” which some jazz authorities claim be bop drummer Denzil Best actually wrote. Although my overworked left foot throbbed, I continued stomping my left foot and wiggling in my seat. The second set was satisfying like the once. You showed you are comfortable effectively fuse Jazz, Funk, and Rock, making the mix danceable and listenable.
John you guys deserved the lengthy ovation. The audience wanted a bonus set. Of course, you couldn’t oblige, but they appreciated the encore you played.