Trumpet and Effects: Rob Alley
String Bass: Derek Doyle
Drums: Craig Collison
Before the show, it was really heart warming to see a High Schooler came up to Craig (the drummer) and asked for advice. He promptly pulled out a piece of paper and began making notes for him. The connection was real and immediate.
With a laptop on the table, they rolled through their sound check getting ready to record the night.
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The first song swelled with a rocking soft drum, the plaintive cry of the trumpet, and the subtle back and forth of the drum. The strong presence of the bass made me feel like the room should be full of smoke, and people snapping their fingers to the beat.Effortlessly, they floated from song to song. The echoing sound of the trumpet filling the air like a old singer in search of himself, contrasted against the hard breaks of the drum. Tension fills the room, only to be released by the blair of the trumpet.
The full house applauded and cheered.
There wasn't an empty seat in the house. At each table, the people sat, enthralled by the band. The Tortugas, lattes, beers, and wine flowed from the bar, as the chef prepared his magical dishes.
The spicy smell of the food melded with the rich, deep melodies of the Rob Alley Trio.
A little latter, a fourth, Corey Emerson (Assistant Band Director from Poplar Bluff High), joined them on Trombone.
It may be cliche to say that the band was electric on the stage, but when the wahwah kicked in, the energy of the room changed. The surreal wah of the trumpet reverberated throughout. You couldn't help but bop along to the tune. The music took over. It ruled the night.
Somehow, they stepped up the energy and the tempo, but never crossed the line into funk. Each member soloed in turn. The room erupted with applause at each transition.
I almost fell out of my seat when they started their jazz cover of "Smells like Teen Spirit." The vocals covered by the trumpet, the guitar split between the bass and trumpet, and Dave Grohl would be proud of the drum work. That was actually a surprise. I don't know if I would have believed it if I hadn't heard it.
All in all a magical night. It is hard to explain the presence of the music and the enthrallment of the audience. If you ever get a chance to see the Rob Alley Trio, don't miss it. You won't be disappointed.
I am came out, not knowing what to expect. I am not a huge fan of Jazz. I like Wounded Buffalo Theory, if they count, but I am a convert. This is not the Cosby jazz that I learned about through my light pop culture exposure to the genre. As a fan of the blues, I find most Jazz inaccessible, but I now feel that I was never given a proper introduction to the genre. I am going to have to set up a Pandora station with their influences as the seeds and give the art form a second look. That is the best kind of show: the one that expands your horizons and makes you want to try something new. For that, I am thankful to the Rob Alley Trio for the show, and to the Wine Rack/Java Stop for encouraging me to come out and test my limits.
Check out the Rob Alley Trio at their MySpace.
Trumpet and Effects: Rob Alley