The JamBase 25th anniversary celebration continued last night with a double-bill performance at the Boston Harbor Distillery.
Built in 1859, the building boasts lofty ceilings and a distinctly rustic feel while retaining an intimate, reception-like setting for the performances.
A highlight of the set was a pairing of “Creep” and “Stormy Monday,” where Cassarino’s percussive playing perfectly filled the absence of drums as he and Hartswick harmonized their vocals with practiced ease. The duo’s incredibly chemistry shone through in each song with the bright smiles and easy banter – even including a powerfully-sung “Happy Birthday” in honor of Hartswick.
After a short break, (mostly) instrumental outfit Club d’Elf took the stage and immediately blew us away with their jazz-influenced sound. Keyboardist Amy Bellamy, also celebrating her birthday, destroyed her Fender Rhodes electric piano on the opening song and continued to do so on organ and clavinet at various other points throughout the night.
Club D’Elf features a rotating cast of members with led by bassist Mike Rivard. Last night’s lineup included drummer Fabio Pirozzolo, and turntableist Mister Rourke, guitarist David Fiuczynski and Bellamy. This configuration of musicians, augmented by Rivard’s occasional playing of a traditional Moroccan sintir/guimbri, also welcomed Hartswick back to the stage to add her amazing trumpet to a number of songs.
Brian Thomas of the BT ALC Big Band made his second appearance of the JB25 weekend as well, adding trombone to D’Elf’s set. Another excellent guest came in the form of powerful vocalist Zoë Knight on a jazzed-up cover of Cream’s “White Room.”
All in all, Friday night at the distillery was incredible on all fronts – the feeling of community and family permeated the experience while two incredible musical groups performed for our delight.