Intriguing music hot spots in the 707 and beyond
Heads up! Coming to Lucca Beer Garden August 24th is keyboardist Eamonn Flynn. Known for his work in the film ”The Commitments,” Irish native Flynn began with traditional Irish music, moving on to master funk and R&B Hammond B3 in his many dates with New Orleans’ Meters’ drummer Ziggy Modeliste. You may have already caught his group on July 5th or seen him sitting in with Don Bassey on June 28th. Eamonn is currently recording at the hand of John Porter, producer for Roxy Music and The Cure. “New Orleans funk with an Irish twist” says Eamonn. Jeff Tamelier on guitar with Kevin Hayes on drums, and Daryl Anders on bass. We’re lucky Eamonn has called The Bay home. He’s a very gracious person, please make him welcome!
Armando’s in Martinez is an artistic find. It’s a small, funky, high-quality club in a great sounding room. With a patio in back, and art and philosophy in every direction, Armando’s intimate stage is graced by headliners that draw contrastingly large crowds. One such artist is Chris O’Connell, Asleep At The Wheel’s Grammy winning lead singer, and her band blending country, blues and jazz. Or the blues of Annie Sampson, lead singer for San Francisco’s legendary Stoneground. Owner Roy rarely turns the lights on more than 1 hour before the show. The intimate interior is a riot of mismatched comfort with great sight lines and well skilled sound. Every fourth Sunday features The Sunday Paper, four notable players from current and former work with Herbie Hancock, Santana, Tower of Power and others. Once a month they play what makes them happy. With musicians this strong, it’s a good bet you’ll be happy as well.
A short drive will find you at The Ivy Room in Albany, a 1940s neighborhood bar with great music surprises, nestled among the discreet residences of several recorded and charted backing artists. On Tuesday nights The Ivy Room hosts a Funk Jam that has yielded some over the top surprises. Stop in, you might get lucky. Coming August 7th to the 10th a trio of shows brings several ground breaking players of San Francisco’s “acid jazz” sound of the nineties. Acid jazz was an inventive, master technique and nostalgic crossing of seventies fusion and fifties bop with psychedelia. August 9th, 8-string guitar master Charlie Hunter (Norah Jones, John Mayer) will accompany singer Lucy Woodward (Rod Stewart, Barbra Streisand) laying out groove centric blues and pop-in-the-pocket with Charley’s remarkable ability to play lead, bass and rhythm simultaneously. He’s honed the technique following players such as Joe Pass, who developed harmonizing bass under melody. On August 10th The Broun Fellinis trio are in, and August 7th it’s drummer, Scott Amendola. This roster comprises some of the most important drivers to airplay of the late nineties San Francisco acid jazz scene.
Go a bit further and enjoy Oakland’s First Friday in Uptown, on Telegraph Ave. In particular, catch up with the John Brothers Piano Company appearing on 25th, off Telegraph, across from the Forage Kitchen. The band is a cross between a music ensemble and a fire drill. Grounded in 1920s jump jazz, these young multi-instrumentalists begin the show as guests. Subtly falling separately out of the crowd they appear onto the vacant piano, the drummer noodles aimlessly, a whimsical trumpet line floats by. Then it starts: the piano hits 1920s stride, drums and bass swing hard and the trumpet now in your face signals the ride to a manic Jitterbug with Flamenco accents boiled inside a Bolero (what?!). Shortly after this gets cooking, and without stopping, they morph from trumpet to piano, piano to clarinet, bass to drums and drums to trombone. At times two on the piano at once, other times playing whatever surface is within reach. There’s nobody like them, creating an original sound from 100 years ago as they give jump-and-jivers a chance to know what that crazy speakeasy energy really felt like. This is no tribute group. These guys are the real deal, born to remind us that young, crazy and talented is important. See you in Oakland. Cheers!