SF Conservatory Of Music, SF

October 14, 2012



The 2nd part of a great Sunday – went to Adam Kolker Trio at Chez Hanny at 4, then booked it over to the conservatory for this amazing trio at 7 (snug; perfect).  Got a ticket earlier in the week off craigslist – good deal, good seat (4th row). Haven’t seen Danilo as a leader before – but just a tight, fantastic band. Street, of course, always a great modern player. Cruz I haven’t seen and was younger than I thought he was going to be – nothing really flashy about his playing, but sticks well to the ebb and flow of the music and helps it ball together. They play amazing, searching and adventurous music that spins out from its beginnings and finds grooves and landscapes far from its birth. Very much like Wayne Shorter’s band (and Brian Blade’s Fellowship, which begs the question of how much those 3 influenced Wayne, or how much Wayne showed them the way). Either way, this is what I love about modern music – no head-solo-head, no swing in the drums or walking bass or steady floor to stand on, just music hunting across uneven terrains for deep emotion. Awesome.

The music was some sort of celebration of the 500th year of Panama, or something like that, according to Danilo’s brief intro. Took them a bit to find the road to adventure, but by the 3rd tune they were off; a dark, shifting, intense and varied piece with Shorter-like grooves. A phenomenal version of Round Midnight (and let’s be honest, how many more times does one need to hear that tune? Done like this – original, dark, barely skittering across the top of what’s expected from the song – plenty). Then some sprawling piece that began with at least one if not more Monk tunes, but travelled very far indeed from those grounds (how many Monk covers did I hear today?); an amazing tune (and band, damn) – completely free and ‘found’ music, very adventurous (and “dangerous” as Danilo says). Spent several minutes building and building over a slightly varying figure to a brutal climax. Some seriously badass intense music. Followed it with what seems to be the new obligatory Stevie Wonder cover Overjoy – (don’t know the orig. but this was a  great version).  Then closed with a dynamite, beautiful solo piano tune. Monster player – awesome music and band.

set list

1. Panama 500


3. Galactic Panama

4. Panama Vio

5. Chocolito

6. Round Midnight


8. Overjoy

9.                             (solo piano) 



ADAM CRUZ – drums