When I first started “blogging” I thought it was a good way to supplement my radio programme with written material, talk about jazz performances in Trinidad and Tobago, share information and thoughts about festivals in the Caribbean, highlight projects that I might have been involved in. When the station that aired my radio programme went off air, the weekly Jazz Fusion performances I talked about stopped, the Barbados Jazz Festival ended it’s seventeen-year run, several other invitations to jazz festivals last year did not materialize, and I got busy doing projects and didn’t seem to have enough time to write about them, I stopped “blogging”. Last night I found a great reason to start “blogging” again.
Last night I went to hear Mikhail Salcedo and his quintet at Casa de Ibiza. I went mostly to support a young talented bassist that I love, Jeremy McIntosh. I walked in just as they started the last song in the first set, Green Dolphin Street. It was built around the rhythmic pattern played by Shiva Manick on the tabla and the sitar inspired lines played by Dean Williams on the guitar and featured solos by the two. It was a great start for me. The intermission only helped to make me feel more inspired by the event as I got to connect with many fellow musicians including Ray Holman, Anthony Woodroffe, Raf Robertson, Keith Maynard, Ming, Roger Salloum, and more importantly with members of the band, my Tunapuna neighbour James Fenton who played percussion, Jeremy McIntosh, and the drummer Curtis Jones an old friend from Tropical Angel Harps. It was also good seeing some of the regular supporters of jazz events, especially Hue Loy.
The second half was just as engaging as the conversation during the intermission. I got a clearer picture of the membership of the band. Dean was a guest but Shiva was a constant and the tabla was in no way a token it definitely had a clear role in the band’s sound. Rodney Harris was the keyboard player. He was the only member of the quintet that soloed and I really appreciated his solos. I know that as the band continues to play more that his solos will develop more of a presence. Curtis, Jeremy and James did not solo but their groove was solid for the most part, and that is the most important thing. Mikhail really did a great job thinking about the group’s material. Besides the Chick Corea classic Spain, they added Trinidadian classics from Ray Holman (Memory of your Smile), Ras Shorty I (Endless Vibrations), and Kerwin Dubois (Bachanalist). For the last item Mikhail sang and played keys. He is a pretty good singer (smile). It was also really good to see Mikhail invite Rellon Brown on stage (trumpeter) since it was with Dominant Seventh, Rellon’s band, that Mikhail first started checking out this avenue of improvisational performance.
I could get into a critique about glitches with time changes and tonality, but won’t. The overall presentation was good and I could tell from their faces that the musicians know exactly what they would like to do differently so it can only get better. I must, however, congratulate Karl Doyle and his Blue Culture team on a job well done. Deciding to continue the weekly jazz gig at Ibiza, inviting UTT students to record the event, setting it up so that there is a good photographic and videographic record of the event all show their commitment to this project. Next week, Dean Williams, Tuesday 3rd July, 9pm, Casa de Ibiza, Tragarete Road, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.
I felt good after the event and thought; I should help get the word out there. That, to me, was a good enough reason to start “blogging” again.