Sunday, October 25, 2015
Concert Review: John Gross at the Westport Coffeehouse
A Lee Konitz performance provided me with a transformative experience in March. I hoped to bookend that highlight of 2015 with John Gross’ appearance at Westport Coffeehouse last week.
Gross, 71, is another saxophonist who communed with jazz giants as a young man. The native Californian was once embedded in the West Coast cool jazz scene. He later toured with several prominent big bands. Gross is now based in Portland.
I hoped to hear Gross play like this. Instead, Gross and saxophonist Matt Otto, a trombonist from Stevie Wonder’s touring band, guitarist Danny Embrey, bassist Ben Leifer and drummer Brian Steever played sleek post-bop.
Wednesday's elite lineup was virtually incapable of playing anything less than stellar. Even so, the uncomfortably low turnout became an oppressive burden for both me and for the band . I bailed after about 40 minutes of exquisite music.
(Original image by Plastic Sax.)