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St. James Live

Winding down on a Wednesday with real live jazz. Back at it again, only on week 2 of their re-opening since the COVID 19 epidemic, St James Live has not missed a beat. With their COVID friendly set up-tables and chairs 6 ft apart, staff and concert goers wearing masks, only allowing so many people in-I believe St James Live is off to a great new beginning.

On the list tonight: Rod Harris Jr. Jazz Trio: guitarist extraordinaire Rod Harris Jr, upright bassist, Craig Shaw, and drummer Dave Potter. Jazz has often been considered a lost, underexposed genre but I do not understand how with a group of musicians such as Rod Harris Jr. Jazz Trio. They came in and reawakened the crowd with that rat a tat tat of the drums, deep thunderous growl of the upright bass, and clean, purifying strumming of the guitar. There is no way this art of jazz should be underappreciated. Well for any nay-sayers out there, come out to St James Live on any live jazz music night and I know you will not leave thinking the same way. I can only describe the exhilarating sound so much. You will have to come out and hear for yourself.

Feet tapping and heads bobbing-it was a great evening of live jazz. I will be back. To Be Continued…

So, I went back on a Sunday evening this time and St James Live did it again! Everything was phenomenal-from the food to the crowd, to the sound, to the music. The juicy, tender, savory chicken, mixed vegetables, and greens just added to the overall experience. The meal was not the only thing that had much flavor, but the live band also satisfied my soul with great sound engineering from Nicholas Goins. Phil Davis on keys paid tribute to Herbie Hancock alongside Sean Michael Ray on bass, Rick Jordan on drums, Mike Burton saxophonist, Frankie Quinones on Percussion and Rod Harris Jr. on guitar. Oh yes, ALL STAR PLAYERS! Before the first note was played, the crowd waited with great anticipation.

I believe Herbie Hancock would have been well pleased as this band played with much respect and skill. Phil Davis gave the crowd a great treat with a couple of songs from his 2008 album Philosophy. We also heard a tune from Sean Michael Ray’s album Overdue and Rod Harris’ album as well. There was no 1 superstar on stage-all of them shined with solos and simply great playing. At one point the crowd was quiet. It was not because they were not enjoying themselves but because they were studying the sound, the beat, the rhythm, the notes, THE MUSIC-in awe.

It had been awhile since many of these gifted musicians had played, due to Covid, and they enjoyed performing as much as the crowd enjoyed listening-the energy definitely permeated the building.

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