By Danny Vasquez
With a passionate and soothing sound, the Patrice Rushen Trio took the stage at the First Friday Jazz Concert in the S2 Recital Hall last Friday.
Throughout the night, the trio went through the history of jazz, expressing the beauty and raw-gut-busting emotion of all jazz styles to the audience.
Rushen lead the trio with her quick hands on the piano and her ability to show emotion, passion and drive in her music.
Right beside Rushen, Edwin Livingston expressed the deep emotion while playing the upright bass with Ralph Penland, who dominated the drums.
Kicking off the concert, the trio played the modern stylings of jazz from Thelonious Monk.
The song began the concert with Livingston taking the lead on the bass.
The number was soothing and relaxing, but it also consisted of life and joy from the piano and drums.
The trio had a great ability of changing the atmosphere and the mood in the recital hall and some songs had a somber or lively sound.
They shared a mixture of all styles of jazz from modern jazz to the blues.
In the second song, the group performed ‘All Blues’ by Miles Davis.
The number started off slow and continued to raise in tempo.
The song captured a somber sound and slowly picked up in pace and became a great song to tap your foot to.
During the song, Rushen’s fingers were dancing the piano keys as she hits every note in the song.
The song was constantly changing pace until the piano slowly faded and left a duet between the bass and the drums.
Livingston showed intensity while playing, as he was closing his eyes and throwing his heart onto the stage.
In another song, “In a Sentimental Mood” by Duke Ellington, he showed a vulnerability and peacefulness to the trio.
The mood of the song was emotional and the mixture of the piano, bass and drum helped make a hopeful tone to the piece. It felt light and had a consistent slow pace.
Changing up the tempo, the trio continued with a more playful number called ‘Five-Miles High’ by Armando “Chick” Corea.
The song showed off the trio’s diversity and explored a more upbeat sound in comparison to their set list.
The song had all instruments playing at rapid pace and had a sort of groove to it.
The song sounded happy, loud and had an uplifting mood. It was one of the songs that could make people stand up, dance and have a good time.
The trio not only played music from other artists, but played a few of their own original songs.
One the songs that was fantastic was a song called ‘Troopers.’
The song resembled a cool jazz sound and was soft in the beginning and changed in pace and became fast.
Rushen looked to be in her element and entertained the audience with her great technical skills on the piano. Instead of playing just one song, the trio took a journey to the Blues era.
They performed two different parts of blues, the gut-bucket blues and drums solo that got the audience riled up.
Rushen and Livingston poured their heart on the stage. The crowd was screaming with contentment and it told a story that captured the era of the blues.
Penland’s drums were amazing and each beat expressed a different emotion.
He played with passion and a smile on his face.
The concert told a story of the past without even saying a word.
The music showed a great balance of passion and emotion and uplifting tempo.
The Wire Choir will continue the First Friday Jazz series on Nov. 1.