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Lettuce with John Scofield at SFJAZZ

Lettuce with John Scofield at SFJAZZ

Courtesy Walter Atkins

Lettuce with John Scofield
SFJAZZ Miner Auditorium
San Francisco, CA
April 27, 2024

The popular jam band Lettuce and very special friend John Scofield, took the chill off a seriously windy evening with an exciting dance show performance at SFJAZZ Center. Lettuce's enticing brand of funk and fusion was well received by the appreciative SF Bay Area audience. This favorite San Francisco music venue also featured an ongoing digital display that was clearly reminiscent of the mood-enhancing light shows from the '60s hippie heydays in the city.

Lettuce consisted of: guitarist Adam Smirnoff, trumpeter Eric Benny Bloom, drummer Adam Deitch, bassist Erick "Jesus" Coomes, keyboardist Nigel Hall, saxophonist Ryan Zoidis and guest guitarist John Scofield (Pat Metheny, Miles Davis, George Duke, Joe Henderson). The evening's initial session opened with "RVA Downs" which helped to establish the atmosphere, followed by "Royal Highness,"" Picked Hits" and "Pep n' Step." Lettuce continued jamming with the Davis composition "Black Satin" from the On the Corner album (Columbia, 1972) which highlighted solid guitar work. They flowed into the songs "Pocket Change" and "Back In Effect." Lettuce concluded the early set with the funky Kool & The Gang tracks "Jungle Fever" and their encore "Ladies Night."

Rita, a first time visitor was effusive with her praise of the band and the music. She gladly shared her fresh impressions. "They were in connection with their instruments as I was watching the show. Each musician had connection with their instrument, and each instrument will talk to each other, taking turns. You know they had to express themselves in some sort of way. And that drummer! He was just like I'm just the king of the band here, my voice will be heard. Yes, I thought it was great." The compliments continued with KK, one of the many pleasant house ushers who was also hearing Lettuce for the first time. "I enjoyed [the music] much more than I expected. I really, really love the drummer! Like 180 beats per minute and my head goes on fire. Just beautiful. This is my favorite drum and bass." Lettuce with John Scofield had the audience dancing and head nodding in time with the enthralling music.

The wonderful evening was only enhanced by the Summer Of Love- inspired digital light show. Whether the people were moving to the rhythms or rocking in their seats, it was a great first set that ended it all too soon. In the early club days of the Boston-based band, Lettuce would go to clubs and ask owners if they could sit in or "just let us play." Hence the name of the band. Yes, they definitely can play and more. On exiting the large downtown music hall, the heavy winds had calmed down and the patrons entered a calm, clear San Francisco night to continue their Saturday in the city at a favorite local establishment.

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