Marcus Shelby Residency at Jazz at Pearl’s

Thursday, October 11th, 2007 by

Tonight, for the first time, I went to a concert at Jazz at Pearl’s in San Francisco. A friend had been telling me about a certain incredible bassist for a while, and I finally had time to go to a concert. The bassist is Marcus Shelby, and he was joined by Jeff Marrs (drums), Matt Clark (piano) and Evan Francis (sax, flute). What a fun night of music! The band started at 10pm with “Stablemates“, a tune by Benny Golson and then moved into a lovely version of Night and Day by Cole Porter. I LOOOOOVED what Matt was playing on this tune. His melodic lines, chords, harmonic choices, and rhythmic variation made me come home and practice after the show! He was great.

Around 11pm, the band was expanded by Mike Olmos (Trumpet), Adam Shulman (piano) and Howard Wiley (sax). Mike jumped right in and showed why he tours with Etta James! Evan and Adam had solos that were fluid and full of great musical ideas. Once Howard got to the stage, they ripped into an Ellington Blues (don’t remember the name of it… I’m trying to get better with remembering names!) Howard was AWESOME!!!!!! His solo was so expressive and free. I felt like I was in church! He made me want to jump up and play too! But, really, it was lovely to just sit and enjoy music. That’s a rarity for me.

Marcus and Jeff were solid all night. Both played without frills; just the perfect subtext for the solo instruments to soar and play. Marcus and his band are in residency at Jazz at Pearl’s every Tuesday this month. I recommend checking them out!

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