Sunday, July 14, 2019
Concert Review: Ryan Keberle & Catharsis at the National World War I Museum and Memorial
Perhaps recognizing that a significant portion of the audience of about 100 were museum loyalists rather than jazz fans, the critically acclaimed touring musicians- positive notices by Will Layman and Giovanni Russonello were published in the days following Monday’s concert- played far more conservatively that at their recent appearances at Mod Gallery (Plastic Sax review) and Black Dolphin (Plastic Sax review).
The concert was billed as a tribute to James Reese Europe. Yet the five musicians played only one selection associated with the lamentably unheralded bandleader. Trombonist and electronics manipulator Keberle, saxophonist and trumpeter (and recent addition to the band) Scott Robinson, guitarist and vocalist Camila Meza, bassist Matt Clohesy and drummer Eric Doob offered a straightforward interpretation of W.C. Handy’s “Memphis Blues.”
A reading of Duke Ellington’s “I Like the Sunrise” featuring a gorgeous vocal turn from Meza was similarly conventional. The final half of the show was devoted to a Langston Hughes-inspired suite from Catharsis’ new album The Hope I Hold. Hughes’ poetry sometimes made for cumbersome lyrics, but the instrumental segments featuring astounding statements from Robinson and Meza thrilled jazz hounds even as they baffled some of the history buffs in the audience.
(Original image by Plastic Sax.)