Sunday, January 13, 2019

Concert Review: Ben Tervort, Matt Otto and Brian Steever at Westport Coffee House

I’m considering forgoing future trips to New York City.  I periodically visit the jazz capital partly to hear music that isn’t performed in Kansas City.  I was thrilled, consequently, when Ben Trevort’s Classically Trained filled a crucial component of that void at Westport Coffee House last Tuesday. 

Bassist Tervort, saxophonist Matt Otto and drummer Brian Steever played an hour of impressionistic, European-style jazz.  The rhythmically unconstrained trio shifted between joyous swing and unhurried avant-garde musings on original material and standards.

Trevort judiciously gave his bandmates free reign.  Listening to Otto delineate the melody of a ballad is akin to watching a masterful Japanese artist paint a wondrous landscape.  And every time I see Steever perform I’m certain that he’s my favorite drummer in town.

Unlike in New York City, attending Tuesday’s show didn’t require navigating a subway system, paying a drink minimum or battling a crowd.  In fact, all of the people who paid the $10 cover to catch the first set could have fit inside a taxicab.  It’s too late to cancel my forthcoming trip to New York, but Tervort’s adventurous endeavors in Kansas City may play a decisive role in my subsequent travel plans.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

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