A packed house was treated to an incredible double bill of modern jazz last night. The East Village’s Drom played host to Wil Blades Trio and Cory Henry (of Snarky Puppy fame) for a long, late night of funky vintage sounds.
Wil Blades Trio kicked things off with a selection of cuts off the recent album Field Notes. The album does a phenomenal job demonstrating how good the drums, guitar, bass/keys combo can work within the genre, much like Soulive does. The group thrives in a live setting as well, bringing each song to a boil via improv and skillful playing. Blades is incredible to watch as he plays bass lines with his feet and smooth leads with his hands. The guy is a monster. He’s joined by New Orleans-based drummer Simon Lott along with Jeff Parker, ex-guitarist for post-rockers Tortoise. The result is thrilling, modern jazz.
Stand out cuts on Field Notes include “Miller’s Time,” “Addis,” and “I Get the Blues When it Rains.” The album is available here.
While Wil Blades Trio shows how cool jazz can be with a minimal lineup, Cory Henry’s new band did the exact opposite. Boasting nearly a dozen players at certain times, the progressive funk fusion group delivered quite the performance stemming from new songs off Henry’s upcoming album.
There was hip-hop influence for sure, at times using programmed drums and womping bass to create wild, intense beats. There was also an afrobeat tune and all the Herbie Hancock, mind-melting jazz you could hope for out of Henry and company.
Be on the lookout for either act coming your way come 2015.