Can I get an "Amen"? At times it felt like a revival meeting at the Rex last night - sheerly from the energy level of the band.Playing to a small, but enthusiastic end of summer Labour Day audience, the Gale/Rodrigues Quartet was certainly a people pleaser. Ellington's "Play the Blues and Go" gave things a jumpstart.
Holding her own, a petite and barefoot Vanessa Rodrigues rocked the B3 - I can tell she was (briefly) a student of the great Dr. Lonnie Smith. Her "One Eyed Monster" was rollicking in the tradition of Horace Silver. She has a sure and soulful hand on those keys and pedals alternating between intense facial expressions and flat out delighted smiles exchanged with her band mates.
Everyone on stage was having a great time - it's been a long time since I've seen Edmonton's own Mike Rudd - way back to the Little Birds in fact and he brought his stellar guitar skills to the party. I noted on her website Ms. Rodrigues is also Edmonton born and raised, a multi-instrumentalist and dynamo.
The ever versatile Chris Gale was on hand with tenor and baritone saxes and a particularly meaty solo on his tune "Statement". Rounding out the band was Davide DiRenzo testifying on his drum kit - with sticks and vocally...:)All together a solid but not stolid unit.
Be sure to catch this very fun group tonight at the Rex and stick around for the jazz jam afterwards.By the way...I seem to be having trouble posting photos/images - no icon which hopefully will be resolved shortly....sorry. Mercury Retrograde?