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.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe more people would come to these gigs if even the least little attempt was made to promote the show. Your review was the first I'd heard of it.