To my mind, a satisfying musical experience is multi-layered - the mind, heart and hips are all engaged. Last night, April 24, the Sam Keevers Trio delivered an engaging experience to an appreciative crowd in the intimate and cosy atmosphere of Uptown Jazz Cafe in Fitzroy.
Keevers- piano, and Danny Fischer - drums, together with Christopher Hale - bass, all showed enormous technique and artistry through a huge range of rhythms, melodic lines, textures, and highly creative solos while always keeping the groove at the forefront of the musical experience.
The first set included a piece by Thelonious Monk, a Cuban bolero called Tu Me and an original work by Keevers, which was the basis of an extended improvisation for piano. This piece was the highlight for me, as I always feel that improvisation is like meditation - a moment-by-moment experience that demands that the listener gives themselves over to the music. Wonderful.
I have heard Fischer play many times with other ensembles, but here he seemed to have enormous freedom to craft some amazing solos, working with texture and space and rhythm. . Bassist Hale also created some beautiful sonorities and textures, filling the sonic space between the piano and the drums, and at one point playing a tremolo, which to my ear, reminded me of a balalaika.
There were a few standards in the performance - Love Letters, What'll I Do, and a Cuban cha-cha, which were given fresh interpretations, and best of all, piqued my curiosity during each song to hear what would happen next.
I really look forward to hearing this ensemble again, such a life-affirming experience, Bravo, guys.