Jazzitalia - Alvester Garnett and His Artworks Ensemble perform in the After Hours at Dizzy's Club 'Coca-Cola'
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Alvester Garnett and His Artworks Ensemble perform in the After Hours at Dizzy's Club "Coca-Cola"

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Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola

After Hours Set

Alvester Garnett and His Artworks Ensemble
Alvester Garnett
on Drums
Bruce Williams
and Jed Levy, Saxophones and Flute
Phil Palombi
, Bass

Frederick P. Rose Hall
Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
Broadway at 60th Street
(Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola Website)
Todd Barkan, Programming Director
Scott Thompson, Press

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
January 28, 2011

In tonight's After Hours set, Alvester Garnett and his Artworks Ensemble followed Randy Weston's African Rhythms Sextet, with Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola still packed. The whole band began as one, with melodic brass and both saxophones leading propulsive rhythms. The saxes, played by Bruce Williams and Jed Levy, added pulse and fascination. A tiny refrain from "'Round Midnight" added sensuality to the mix, when the beat slowed down. Jed Levy's composition, "A Great Week" was being featured, and he's certainly an artist to watch, nicely showcased by Alvester Garnett. In the second piece, the saxes and Phil Palombi's bass took a backup theme, as the musicians merged abstract and melodic genres. Alvester added light cymbal effects and muffled drums to Palombi's deep bass, then as an interlude to introduce the next piece. Levy, on flute, shifted keys, as Williams and Palombi joined for mesmerizing mystery. Deep sonority evoked sounds of a natural woodland. Levy's flute added plaintive poignancy, reminiscent of Herbie Mann.

At times, Levy or Williams would walk side stage, so the other could stay center stage. Syncopated drumbeats were truly exciting, as Alvester led the tempo. When the sax turned melodic, Palombi took a bass solo with a brand new arrangement of the theme. Levy returned on flute, and his sound was eloquent. Bruce Williams' "More to Go" brought back Williams and Levy on duo saxes, and the piece jumped with lively bass and drums. It was fast-paced, over the edge, and Levy swayed in place, a slow dance to his fast dynamics. When Alvester took the spotlight, the piece took us way uptown. It started with moderation, then went off the charts. The bass repeated the melody, then led the band, before both saxes played dim, echoing themes. At this point Williams and Levy walked about the Club, like they were in New Orleans, playing their saxes, mingling with their fans. When Alvester turned his drums into a flourish of fireworks, a great, exciting dimension ensued.

"Cops and Robbers", composed and led by Levy, showcased him on solo sax, with bass and drums in rambunctious backup. Williams joined in toward the finale, as two saxes hit the same exact notes. When Williams took sax solo, Alvester played his drum pedal for extra muffling effects. Bass and drums matched syncopated tempos, then the whole Artworks Ensemble merged with a danceable beat. For updated listings of Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, check out Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola Website.

Alvester Garnett
Courtesy of Judy Kirtley

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