Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Motor City Horns and The Brothers Groove

The Chamber Music at The Playhouse series concluded its regular season with a rousing concert by these two exciting groups. They took the term "Chamber Music" to uncharted heights.

The Brothers Groove, formed in 1999, has been regarded as one of Detroit's best live bands, having collected 22 Detroit Music Awards including (in 2008) Outstanding Modern Jazz Group and Outstanding Jazz Instrumentalist. And now we saw (and heard) why. Their sound is a mixture of Jazz, Funk, Blues and Soul which is instantly familiar yet distinctly original.

The Motor City Horns, having collaborated with The Brothers Groove since 2000, added a fullness of sound to each musical selection. And each individual's virtuosity came through loud and clear during their frequent improvisations.

Led by Chris Codish on keyboard and vocals, the combined group included Skeeto Valdez on drums (and vocals), special guest Pat Prouty on bass, John Rutherford on trombone, Mark Byerly on trumpet, Bob Jensen on trumpet and Keith Kaminski on saxophone.

We were also treated to a special guest appearance by Johnnie Bassett, well-known around Detroit with his vocals and guitar.

Bob Jensen coordinated a dazzling array of equipment that generated a powerful, clear sound.

Their musical selections included Cadillac Blues by Bob Codish, Caravan by Duke Ellington and Juan Tizol, Coming Back, Mo' Room and Casual Observer by Chris Codish, Tune 88 by Jeff Lorber, Waltz for Hornz by Michael Nelson, and It's About the Dollar Bill and Superman Lover by Johnny "Guitar" Watson.

The group played on the Main Stage of The Players Playhouse, and filled the entire building (maybe even the entire E. Jefferson neighborhood) with fabulous sounds. We will remember this evening for a long time.

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