Jazzitalia - Buster Williams' Spanish Sun: Flamenco Rising at Iridium Jazz Club
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Buster Williams' Spanish Sun: Flamenco Rising at Iridium Jazz Club
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
August 6, 2010

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Buster Williams' Spanish Sun
Flamenco Rising
Buster Williams
on Bass
Eric Reed
on Piano
Adam del Monte
on Guitar
Mark Gross
on Saxophones
Ignacio Berroa
on Drums  

Late Night:
The Eric DiVito Group
Presented by ScoBar Entertainment


Iridium Jazz Club
1650 Broadway, Corner of 51st St, NYC

Manager: Scott Barbarino
Media: Matt Merewitz, Fully Altered Media

This Friday night second set rolled in like a train, driven and dynamic. Mark Gross, on sax, was grooving out Afro-Cuban tones, backed by Ignacio Berroa's clavé drums. Berroa was making the most of the moment, while Adam del Monte added exotic guitar strings, Gross took a break, and Eric Reed, on piano, took the lead. Del Monte was on the theme next, with Turkish-infused echoes. A bass-guitar conversation ensued, with Buster Williams and del Monte, while Berroa's drumsticks built the volume like Ravel's Boléro. After Berroa's drums took the solo, his virtuosity shone, as rhythmic effects filled the Club. This was like a solo percussion sonata, with endless varying refrains. Del Monte moved toward flamenco rhythms, as his guitar became hypnotic. Gross was the "palmera", clapping the flamenco beat in perfect sync. Soon the drumsticks were wooden "palmeras", and the guitar was the dancer.

The next piece began with Reed on solo piano, a reflective and refreshing change of pace. Within minutes, percussive brushes, guitar, bass, and sax intermingled, while Gross played with the luscious melody. This music was poignant, and Reed came back with rippling piano echoes. Brassy strength took over the theme, fusing new age with propulsive. Williams, on bass, seemed to be the centerpiece of the band, taking the spotlight on occasion, but playing in seamless support, not solo showcase. While Gross added Eastern melodic reverie, Williams played bass with his bow. Finally, Williams took the theme, adding string fingering, then rolling his hands up and down the strings for soulful sound. Gross, however, went all out, with new explosiveness, while del Monte took a break. Berroa provided full flourish in the background, and Reed grabbed his keyboard to improvise with gusto on Williams' earlier theme.

Del Monte's guitar composition was next, gorgeous and windswept, with generous, warm vibrancy. Gross again served as "palmera", and the set ended in Spanish-infused, musical imagery. For the late night set, the Eric DiVito Group, presented by ScoBar Entertainment, brought in a contemporary, unleashed sound. Eric DiVito on guitars, Moto Fukushima on bass, Alyssa Falk on drums, and Joey Berkley on sax combined for some very progressive jazz. I stayed for "Like Minded" and "A Bit Curt", the latter being heavy on percussion, abstract, rapid, and full of bounce.

Adam del Monte on Guitar,
Buster Williams on Bass,
Mark Gross on Saxophone
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Eric Reed on Piano,
Adam del Monte, Buster Williams,
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Adam del Monte,
Buster Williams, Mark Gross
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Adam del Monte,
Buster Williams, Mark Gross,
Ignacio Berroa on Drums
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Adam del Monte, Buster Williams
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Adam del Monte, Buster Williams
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

The Eric DiVito Group:
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

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