Sunday, June 13, 2010

Phil Sargent - Live at Ryles Jazz Club, Cambridge, MA (June 11, 2010)

Phil Sargent with his five-piece jazz group (Sargent, guitar; Aubrey Johnson, voice; John Funkhouser, piano; Greg Loughman, bass; and Mike Connors, drums) performed live at Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge, MA on June 11, 2010 in support of their recently released CD, A New Day. Upon seeing the low stage the first sights to catch the eye are the grand piano, the upright bass and compact drum set. With Sargent’s rock and fusion influences it is somewhat surprising to see these traditional acoustic instruments. But, approaching the setup one can see an array of pedals on the floor in front of the guitar, leading to the assumption that at least some electronic effects will be employed. The band launches the first set with an unrecorded composition and Sargent immediately makes use of the pedals by controlling the volume to eliminate string attacks, resulting in a bowed string quality from his guitar. But, the most distinctive feature of the band is the use of voice as another instrument. Aubrey Johnson wordlessly voices melodic lines in tight unison with Sargent’s guitar and occasionally takes a free ranging vocal solo. Soon pianist, Funkhouser, is leaning inside the piano and tapping strings with a mallet as he runs a finger slide across them. He also blows softly on a melodian (a wind instrument with a small one-octave keyboard) during quieter moments...MORE...

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