No Room For Squares at the Musicquarium
I made it down to the club just in time to hear the second set. No Room for Squares is comprised of: Jim Sisko (tpt), Mark Taylor (tnr), Matt Jorgensen (drm), Geoff Cooke (bs), and Victor Noriega (elpno). The quintet opened with Lee Morgan's Mr. Kenyatta, a classic latin groove from Morgan's Blue Note album, Search for the New Land. Noriega and Taylor sounded especially strong, with Noriega keeping his Rhodes patch for the duration of the set. I mentioned to Taylor that his sound was "huskier" than I remembered, and he mentioned making a slight change in his reed selections -- good choice! The group continued with Sisko's arrangement of Falling in Love with Love, a great standard that just doesn't seem to get played as much as others. Sisko really shined on the classic ballad, Skylark, with a strong, fluid flugelhorn sound and a strong dose of blues inflection. Noriega also shined on this one, and while his physical mannerisms left me a little distracted, his strong playing really blew me away -- I've heard alot of music from Noriega over the years, and this sure souded like some of his strongest playing -- ever! The short set ended with a powerful performance of Chick Corea's Chick's Tune, a great head on the changes to You Stepped Out of a Dream and recorded by the great Blue Mitchell (and the composer) on the Blue Note album, The Thing to Do. Strong playing across the board on this one, and finally a solo from bassist Geoff Cooke! This quick and dirty set really got my blood flowing -- with another stop to make that night and two more bands to hear, I was certainly off on the right foot. Kudos to Jim Sisko, and if you get a chance to hear this fine quintet, in the words of Maury Finkle -- "Do it, do it... do it!"