Northampton Jazz Workshop at the Spare Time Lounge January 8 2019

by David Boatwright of the Equalites.

Another great night of Jazz at the Bowling Alley lounge on Pleasant St. in the ‘hamp! The Green St. Trio has been hosting world class Jazz musicians on Tuesday nights for some eight years now. They’ve been chased by the wrecking ball of Noho destiny from their original home at the late lamented Green St. Cafe to the equally now demolished Clarion Hotel to their current home at 525 Pleasant St. in the lounge room of the Spare Time Bowling facility. But don’t be put off if you don’t care for the family friendly sport, you’d never know all that pin crushing was going on in the next room once you make yourself comfortable.

Order some good food and get ready to be transported to the top of the Jazz Omniverse circa 2019! This was certainly the case on 1/8/19 [Elvis P’s 84th birthday] as the 31 year old identical twins [born an hour apart] Pete and Will Anderson took the stage with the trio, which is comprised of pianist Paul Arsalanian, bassist George Kaye and drummer Jon Fisher.

Now, my musical tastes run pretty much to “everything that rocks,” be it Rock, Rock ‘n Roll, Blues, Jazz, Reggae, or Country, and I can say these guys rock with the best of them! Chops, groove, melody, and versatility beyond compare!

Week after week the trio backs one great jazz artist after another on this small stage, sending around 350 different renditions out into the Universe every year! No, this is NOT fake news! It’s the real deal!

Tonight’s guests are the Anderson brothers, Pete and Will! To paraphrase Jimi Hendrix, “Maybe now you can’t hear them, but you will!” These guys are monsters on tenor, alto sax, flute, clarinet, and they obviously have a vast repertoire of tunes to draw on.

In the finest tradition of “the road,” they arrived at this gig from an afternoon show in Acton, enroute to a noon gig in Rockport, ME the next day! Touring with Parisian NYC-based guitarist Felix Lemereaux on a 1951 Gibson L7, the sextet opened with Cole Porter’s, “Love For Sale” at a fast pace. The level of playing from each of the players is top notch and riveting. The set continued with a sampling of tunes from “the Great American Songbook.” Jimmy Van Heusen’s ” I Thought About You,” “Lover, come Back to Me,” Duke Ellington’s “Mood Indigo,” “Sweet Georgia Brown,” “Moon River” with a tasty guitar intro and ending with a show-stopping sax blast on Lester Young’s “Lester Leaps In!”

I feel lucky to have caught these guys twice in the humble confines of the Northampton Jazz Workshop! I have a feeling they’ll be commanding some pretty high ticket prices in the near future!

Just another high level musical Tuesday in Northampton! Give Thanks to the gods of music once again!