150

Rodney Jones' Soul Manifesto

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Rodney Jones, Arthur Blythe, Fred Wesley, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Idris Muhammad
The Knitting Factory
Hollywood, California
October 12, 2001

Soul Manifesto's performance began a little stiff and tedious. At first, the music just didn't click the way it was supposed to. The young crowd was standing around flat-footed, not sure if the room would ever start moving. One by one, however, the five artists in Rodney Jones' touring band began turning up the heat gradually. Halfway through the opening number, veteran acid jazz organist Lonnie Smith and JB Horns inspiration Fred Wesley finally broke the ice. From then on, the night never cooled. Audience members danced in place and rocked to the insistent soul-jazz beat. The band played songs from Jones' new Blue Note album: songs that emphasize emotion and invite everyone to share the feeling. They're songs that burn with passion. Coincidentally, the session was interrupted after more than an hour – by The Knitting Factory's fire alarm. Two big fire trucks showed up and demanded an evacuation. It was a false alarm. Nevertheless, the night proved fruitful for Jones and his veteran band.
The guitarist provided the intro to "Soul Makossa." His long feature grabbed the audience with increased volume and a blazing technique. Jones prefers to play standing up. His presence invites the audience to share in what he's doing, since they can readily see what's happening. Wesley and Blythe used clip-on microphones so that they could move about freely. The trombonist, in particular, moved right and left with the flow of the music and seemed to feed from that to inspire the audience. Wesley was one of the vital sparks all night long. He and Jones traded melodic segments on "Ain't No Sunshine" with true lyrical sentiment. Seamless ballad phrasing was passed from one to the other. The song represented the evening's high point, as each artist had his deepest solo and the ensemble activity focused on melody.
Late at night, Hollywood Boulevard is filled with people who want to be different. Similarly, Hollywood's Knitting Factory offers Angelenos something different. Both the main performance space and the alternate lounge feature an eclectic lineup. October's calendar features known performers such as Dave Douglas, Hadda Brooks, Butthole Surfers and Soul Manifesto; as well as lesser known entities such as Goldie's Yiddish Orchestra, The Snakes, Orange County Klezmers, and Hour Mary. There's something here for almost everyone – as long as your ears are open and you like good music.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Songs of Scott Walker (1967-70) at Royal Albert Hall Live Reviews The Songs of Scott Walker (1967-70) at Royal Albert Hall
by John Eyles
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Bryan Ferry at the Paramount Theater Live Reviews Bryan Ferry at the Paramount Theater
by Geoff Anderson
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Newport Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Newport Jazz Festival 2017
by Timothy J. O'Keefe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read FORQ at The World Cafe Live Live Reviews FORQ at The World Cafe Live
by Mike Jacobs
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Mat Maneri and Tanya Kalmanovitch at Korzo Live Reviews Mat Maneri and Tanya Kalmanovitch at Korzo
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Kongsberg Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Kongsberg Jazz Festival 2017
by Henning Bolte
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Quentin Baxter Quintet at Simons Center Recital Hall" Live Reviews Quentin Baxter Quintet at Simons Center Recital Hall
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival 2017" Live Reviews Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival 2017
by R.J. DeLuke
Published: July 5, 2017
Read "Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival 2017" Live Reviews Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival 2017
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Siena Jazz International Summer Workshop" Live Reviews Siena Jazz International Summer Workshop
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 8, 2017
Read "Sarajevo Jazz Festival 2016" Live Reviews Sarajevo Jazz Festival 2016
by Francesco Martinelli
Published: November 18, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.