Wednesday, May 7, 2008

piers lawrence quartet at the knitting factory

the piers lawrence quartet: chuck, jim, sir earl, and piers - relaxing outside before show time.

i will admit to sneaking up behind piers just outside of the knitting factory. "don't you guys have a show to do?" they were in great spirits and enjoying the cool spring evening before getting on stage to play some hot jazz. in a twist, i saw piers and the band before i met up with pat and her sister, tina, who were already inside.

while no stranger to the knitting factory, it was a few years since i'd last gone to see a show there. in fact, the last time pat and i had been there was to see pat metheny and his trio. this place a has some good music history and a nice tribeca vibe to it.

on-stage, playing some great jazz.
chuk on the keyboards, sir earl on percussion, jim on bass, and piers on guitar.

the show kicked off with a sonny rollins classic, "pent-up house" and rolled (excuse the pun) into "samba christina." this one, an original composition by piers was written for christina, the girl sitting to my immediate left. it's a very forward take on the bossa nova style. having enjoyed it often on via the cd, it was especially fun and atmospheric live.

"samba christina" was followed by the cd's title track, "stolen moments." a few songs later we were treated to a chuk fowler original, "steppin'." the band was having some serious fun, especially when they did "dimanche" (sunday morning) and asked the audience to guess the which city that might lend its name to.

but they really kicked it up for the final tune - "reza." in fact, it's the first time i ever heard a jazz band noodling around with the chords to deep purple's "smoke on the water," before diving headfirst into the song. this, as deadhead, reminded me of oh so many shows where the band would lay down a bit of tease and swing into a different song entirely. as an added bonus to "reza," sir earl tossed in a smoking drum solo mid-way thru the number!

here is the complete set-list from the show:

1. Pent-Up House - Sonny Rollins
2. Samba Christina - Piers Lawrence
3. Stolen Moments (cd's title track) - Oliver Nelson
4. I'll Remember April - Gene de Paul
5. Grant's Greens - Piers Lawrence
6. Steppin' - Chuk Fowler
7. Everytime - Piers Lawrence
8. Mr. P.C. Blues - John Coltrane
9. Dimanche - Piers Lawrence
10. Reza - John "Jaco" Pastorius

afterwards, pat and i socialized a bit - but we had to get home, since it was a school night. piers and company are playing at the iridium jazz club tonight. if you're in the city and want to see a great show - go check them out!

piers, christina, and pat - after the show

if you're not in the city, or can't make it to the show tonight, all is not lost - just pick up a copy of their new cd:

"stolen moments"

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