If you weren’t checking Brian Blade with Daniel Lanois’ Black Dub at the Troubadour this past Thursday, October 15, 2009, then you either a) were on the road or hard at work in town, b) were preoccupied with the birth of your baby, or c) didn’t check the HollywoodDrum.com calendar or speak to anyone for a full-week beforehand. So either carry on, congratulations, or shame on you/hope you’re feeling better.
The show surpassed high expectations and was a special one, indeed. I dislike the word “special” and use it only when unavoidable. “Exceptional” doesn’t hold the same feeling, and there are times when thesaurus.com is absolutely no help at all. Special, special, special. I recall turning to a guy standing next to me after the encore and proclaiming, “You don’t see that everyday.” The stranger concurred.
Last May, I attended the final show at The Jazz Bakery with Scott Colley featuring Blade, and intended to do a review and interview for the site. For whatever unimportant reason, it didn’t happen and I’m happy to have another opportunity now to write a bit about the brilliant drummer. The contrast between the two performances—one a chart-heavy contemporary bop quartet, and the other a moody, grooving roots/rock band—is a telling illustration of who Brian Blade is as a musician and why he’s become so prevalent. And relevant. It’s redundant, but perhaps necessary to note that he killed on both dates.
If you did miss the sold-out performance, hopefully our review will give you a taste of…ah, who’re we kiddin? You had to be there.