Most of us have heard of live tweeting (posting tweets, minute by minute to broadcast and event of interest) but we don’t often think of live blogging. Well tonight, for your reading pleasure, I am live blogging the performance of the Guilford College Jazz Combos at Tate Street Coffee House. Here we go!
It’s 6:54pm and I enter the coffee shop. The cozy room is buzzing with pre-show chatter, mostly from the talented Guilford musicians who are about to perform. The setting seems so right for such an intimate show. The long, thin room with yellow walls showcases images of coffee, music, and pop culture in a floor to ceiling collage, giving the space a welcoming feel on such a chilly evening. The coffee-scented air begins to fill with the single chords and broken stanzas of a sound check, the mood changes, and the music begins.
At 7:03pm, we meet the first combo, the D Asylum. This six-person group starts off the night with familiar tunes, such as the Girl from Ipanema, but backs them up with a cool pairing of saxaphone and trumpet together. This combination gives the intimate venue a big band feel, playing with the mood of the room. Their sound takes classic tunes and plugs in some modern bass lines and drum beats, waking up the crowd just as their caffeine starts to kick in.
Up next, at 7:49pm, Green Day takes the stage (and no, not the ones you are thinking). Trading out the trumpet for a trombone, this quartet makes the brass section their forefront. This group sticks more to a classic jazz sound, especially in their base lines and prominent feature of saxaphone throughout their set. They stick with a set that is a bit smoother, mimicking the crowd as they settle in to homework and get into a more passive listening mood. After a few songs, they introduce themselves, and announce that this next song will be their last. During this last song, they pull out all the stops and the mood swings way up. Each instrument gets a solo and the individual displays do not disappoint. Their old school jam out brings everyone up just as they step off stage.
8:28pm and Green Tree Experience is about to begin. As they come on stage, they contrast the high energy left from the last group and bring it way down, playing a cymbal and keyboard heavy tune. As they continue their set, they (for the most part) keep it slow, always capturing the coziness of the coffee shop setting. Drinks follow suit, switching from espresso to decaf or wine. The slow nature of the songs only adds to showcasing the talent of each musician. From slow, sweet guitar riffs, to soulful keys, to expressive trumpet playing, they own the stage. Their final tune of the night picks up tempo in a big way, particularly with a killer drum solo. I have to leave and finish the last push of work before Thanksgiving break, but that last song had enough energy and soul to give me a boost and prepare for the freezing air outside.
Guilford has some incredibly talented musicians. Keep an eye out for one of their many events in the Buzz. You won’t want to miss a chance to see them!