Steve Gadd Band@Catalina’s 01.29.15

The term “Deep Pockets” is usually a financial term, but in the case of drummer Steve Gadd, it’s a fitting description of the music that he has created over his career. Celebrating his 70th birthday, he filled up Catalina’s with fans as well as irresistible grooves.

Teamed with Michael Landau/g, Jimmy Johnson/b, Larry Goldings/key and Walt Fowler/tp-fh, Gadd set the tone the a dept and delightful swing on “The Windup” and “The Long Way Home” which featured Landau’s loose and bluesy picking perfectly fitted to contrast with Fowler’s horn which sounded like it was destined for a Blue Note bop session. Gadd created not only rivulets of rhythm here, but on the funky and swampy “Green Foam” he changed gears from a Memphis two step to a complex progressive beat like he was cruising in a ’64 Corvette.

Goldings and Landau created little raindrops on the windshields while Gadd used his brushes as the wiper and Fowler formed fluffy clouds on the evocative “Desu” creating sounds that were tastier than Tasty Kakes. In the background for most of the evening, Johnson stepped forward and delighted the audience with a delectable lilt on the cozy and breezy “De Volta Ao Samba” which had Gadd sashaying the brushes. The funk factor got raised on the gloriously fusioned “Oh Yeah!” which created people in the audience exclaiming the title from the joy of the beat, just before Gadd closed the set with a sizzling “Them Changes” that had Landau tapping into his inner Hendrix and Gadd giving a workshop on the drums that showed why he’s the master chef of subtle swing, sizzling like a T-bone steak at The Pantry.

Watching a guy like Gadd behind the drums is like going to the office of a master jeweler cut up a diamond; it’s the perfect combination of  precision and art, creating a glorious spectacle that shines in the dark.

Upcoming shows at Catalina’s include Steve Tyrell Feb 18-21, Stanley Clarke Feb 27-28, and Roy Hargrove Mar 3-7

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