Frankly, there’s no better way to spend a Saturday night than at the Houndstooth Pub. Between the cozy atmosphere of the music room, the acoustics, and the fact that Midtown Groove does bring some excellent music in, it has more than earned its title as the new contemp-jazz hotspot in the city.
Now..Four80East. Rob DeBoer and Tony Grace have to be on that list of great things that Canada has to offer. You may have heard them on the radio but if you haven’t, take a listen. A little reminiscent of the acid groove that Down to the Bone pushed forward, somehow echoing of the simple appeal of Fourplay, Four80East is an interesting band to listen to, and infectious at that. You can’t help but get into some of those tunes; the rhythm weaves into the melody in that particular way that says, “You know you like this. You know you want to listen to this.”
Hey, if you don’t believe me, have a listen to Bumper to Bumper.
With Matt Marshak on guitar, and Marcus Anderson on the flute, alto sax, and EWI (mostly used for the electronica-voice effects), the band wasted no time in turning up the good stuff. Favorites were featured from the Roll On and En Route albums, including both title tracks, and my personal favorite, Noodle Soup was served up (…couldn’t resist, I know) in the mix as well. Matt Marshak kicked in with Teddy P from his latest disc to season up the mix, and Marcus Anderson blasted in with Everything’s Clearer off his latest album as well.
I have to say, not a bad seat in the house for that night. Rob DeBoer’s showmanship took center stage, and there was no person in the audience who didn’t get into the music, drawn in by both his fantastic skill at the keys and the easygoing quips at the mic. There was no one who wasn’t either smiling, nodding along, or chair-dancing.
Frankly put, this band is a gem within the contemp-jazz scene.Kicky sound, a history of turning out one great disc after another, an excellent sound in show, and all-around infectious energy – if Four80East is on tour and in your area, it’s a must-attend show indeed.
Next up: Kirk & Jeff are at the Spirit Cruises…and I think that particular show would be special on many levels. It won’t be the same, for sure, but considering what has been happening to my people lately…I think I need to see it.