Bebop and Destruction / 2-Bit Trio at The Owl and Thistle
I negelected to do a post last week on the regular jam session at The Owl and Thistle, and since I would be totally remiss if I didn't cover this, and am a regular court-holder down there, here's a little info from both last night and last Tuesday.
If you aren't aware of Bebop and Destruction's Tuesday night gig and jam session at Post Alley's The Owl and Thistle, you may have been living in a hole since 1995. Bebop and Destruction, certainly one of Seattle's longest-running groups, has had a regular gig and jam session in at least one club for about 10 years, and, in the parlance of the new millenium, they keep it real. From their own vast array of originals, to covers from Miles Davis to Led Zeppelin to Ornette Coleman, this band is always a trip and a half. The scene at the Owl is all it's own, and these four guys -- Marc Fendel, Ryan Burns, Jose Martinez, and Geoff Harper -- take it to another level. They appear at The Owl every Tuesday, play their first set at around 10pm, and afterwards the jam session starts. In the last two weeks, I've seen the following array of Seattle players join the jam session: Travis Ranney, Victor Noriega, Steve Tressler, Dawn Clement, Lamar Lofton, Geoff Cooke, and a whole host of folks I've never met or heard before.
One such person that I "discovered" last week was an old friend from high school that I hadn't heard play in ten years. He walked in with his alto, plus the drummer and bass player he's been working with the most, and proceeded to turn many heads when they took to the bandstand as a group. The trio is called 2-Bit Trio, and my old friend Seth Alexander, for lack of a beter term, blew me away! Seattle has always had a kind-of bipolar jazz scene -- inside, beboppers and outside, avantgard-ists -- and yet, when I go to The Owl and Thistle, it's just one melting pot of music. The 2-Bit Trio played what I can only assume was one of their own compositions after accompanying a singer on an old standard, and the transition from one tune to the next was totally natural despite the stylistic differences. While seemingly influenced Ornette and Dolphy, Seth has checked out so much music from many styles, and the supreme concept of melody -- regardless of stylistic influence -- really comes out in his playing. Complimented by Ethan Cudaback on drums and Birch Pereira on bass, this trio is sure to get your attention after your first listen. I've only heard them play one tune live, but I've listened to their mp3 tracks on their website, and you can, too, at: http://www.2bittrio.com. You won't be disappointed.
So that's that for The Owl and Thistle. If you've never been down, next week is always a good time to start: cheap drinks, great people, and killing music never hurt anyone...