20 February, 2010 (Taproom at Catalyst Coffee)
Four to go? Icy roads and falling snow didn't keep the crowd at home. There was a nice turnout to catch Brian Fromme's jazz ensemble. The group is normally a trio, but this time they had vocalist Judy Walker sitting in for part of the night. She really filled out their sound.
The trio started off with a laid back arrangement of Black Orpheus. Steve Tippen's guitar work here was tasteful, as he nailed the sweet and fluid melody. Fromme's electric piano tone was a good complement. The next tune showcased how well these guys play together, with Fromme echoing the guitar lines in his keyboard fills.
Excitement spiked once Judy Walker came onstage. They led off with Hallelujah, I Love Him So. Walker's breathy, expressive voice took the classic R&B tune into uptempo gospel. Her high point for the night, though, came a little later in Blue Skies. Great phrasing and some loose scat vocals made this a stand out tune.
Later, bass player Dan Williams got his chances to solo, including a nice turn on the Star Trek Theme. Even while he was backing Tippen's guitar lead, he kept the tune moving with smooth, busy bass work. A little percussion was all that was missing.
There were plenty of classic tunes and tight arrangements in the rest of the evening, including Autumn Leaves, Moondance, and Sunny. This was especially nice, with clean lead work and smooth trades.
Dogfish Head's Palo Santo was the perfect beer for the night: strong, dark, and sweet. And it was on tap at the Taproom.
More photos on my Flickr.