Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey (Montage) -- This was friend Ken's pick and I ended up at the Montage really only because it worked out that I could make it there after a "late" exit from the office (actually, "early" on a regular day, but I've been operating on JFT [jazz-fest-time] these days). These guys were awesome despite a slight snafu to their start. The pianist opened with a couple amazing solos due to some "equipment issues," which we ultimately discovered had something to do with the upright bass (or lack of one, rather). After playing a tune or two with the electric bass, an upright eventually arrived and the guys were clearly in their groove for the second half of the set (though pre-groove was very, very good!). Their final piece which was played upon request seems to sum them up quite well -- "Drethoven" [inspired by their love of Dr. Dre and Beethoven] Oh, a happy new discovery!
Bottle Rockets (Abilene) Roots rock at its core - clean, solid set. Just some good, old fun.
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey (Montage) Nope, not a typo and yes, we went back; this time with our other friends in tow. If we thought the foursome was amazing earlier, nothing could have prepared us for the jaw-dropping performance we were in for and which we happily and greedily enjoyed right up front. These guys have incredible chemistry and just play and feed off each other creating intensely energetic but beautifully musical pieces tinged with optimism and humor, each song amped higher than the last. I walked home grinning from ear to ear, and am still feeling happy thinking about that set. A stupendous show!