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Crescent City Samba, Featuring Joe Saylor & Friends, at Dizzy’s Club "Coca-Cola"
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Crescent City Samba, Featuring Joe Saylor & Friends, at Dizzy’s Club "Coca-Cola"

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Crescent City Samba
Featuring Joe Saylor & Friends

Joe Saylor, on drums, washboard, vocals
Eddie Ray Barbash, on alto saxophone
Russell Hall, on bass
Gabe Schneider, on guitar
Sam Reider, on accordion
Benny Benack III, on trumpet, vocals, flugelhorn
Zé Maurício, on congas, percussion
Fernando Saci, on cuíca, pandeiro, percussion
Alex Brown, piano

At
Frederick P. Rose Hall
Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola
Broadway at 60th Street
NY, NY
212.258.9595
(Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola Website)
Roland Chassagne, Manager
Jason Olaine, Director of Programming & Touring
Desmond L. Prass, Asst. Manager
Michael Mwenso, JALC Curator & Programming Assoc.
L.A. Thompson, Venue Manager, Great Performances
Zooey T. Jones (with Danielle Bias) JALC Press

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 26, 2014


The Crescent City Samba ensemble was thoroughly enjoyed in tonight’s first set audience at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. Everyone loved the outsized personalities of this nine-man band. At one point, the two Brazilian percussionists, Zé Maurício and Fernando Saci, camped it up with the noisy cuíca, creating a scratchy sound, like howling animals, to embellish one rambunctious piece. Joe Saylor, the band’s leader, plays drums and sings, but his hottest moment was on the washboard, slung over his shoulders, adding a deep folksy sound. The first piece had a danceable, jazzy beat, begging a conga line. Benny Benack, on trumpet, joined Eddie Ray Barbash on alto sax, before Gabe Schneider on guitar, Saylor on drums, and Alex Brown on piano added their own vibrancies. Brown took a melodic, rhythmic riff, followed by the band in full power, including driven accompaniment from Sam Reider’s accordion, backed by Russell Hall’s bass.

Duke Ellington’s 1927 “Black and Tan Fantasy” was turned inside out, by this clever ensemble, thanks to the percussionists on cuíca, plus their barrel-full of exotic, percussive effects. At once, the entire band dove in, with screeching sax, muted horn, and jungle sounds, before it introduced Ellington’s enchanting theme. This is truly party music, and must be heard live to absorb its entertaining gestalt. In a Cajun and Zydeco mood, Sam Reider led a rousing rendition of Hank Williams’ “Jambalaya (On the Bayou)”. Reider played his accordion standing, sitting, and even lying down, in an improvisational feat. Saylor’s washboard and Zé Mauricio’s congas transported the Club to the Louisiana bayou. Soon the accordion and alto sax became a charged duo. With most of the musicians taking a brief break, a smaller Samba trio followed, for piano, tambourine, and alto sax, plus the trio’s syncopated stomping.

Saylor followed on a vocal rendition of Irving Berlin’s “Smile”, taking the dynamic further down to smooth ballad. The sax and guitar accompanied on soft percussive beats, backed by tuneful piano chords. Before the song was over, Saylor was on his flugelhorn, infusing vibrancy and warmth into the moment. The next ballad, Johnny Hodges’ “Sweet Lorraine”, was showcased ebulliently by the full band, with trumpet and piano leading the luscious theme. Soon the alto sax, guitar, and bass took the tones way down to slow dance level, before the band picked it up again. The set closed, with the full ensemble expanding the sound, with brassy trills and flourishes.



Crescent City Samba Featuring Joe Saylor & Friends
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Crescent City Samba Featuring Joe Saylor & Friends
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Crescent City Samba Featuring Joe Saylor & Friends
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Crescent City Samba Featuring Joe Saylor & Friends
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Crescent City Samba Featuring Joe Saylor & Friends
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Crescent City Samba Featuring Joe Saylor & Friends
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Crescent City Samba Featuring Joe Saylor & Friends
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Crescent City Samba Featuring Joe Saylor & Friends
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Crescent City Samba Featuring Joe Saylor & Friends
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower


For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net