Mind-Blowing Music at Lizard Lounge by Suze, posted Sept 29, 2014
This was the sixth time I've seen Club d'Elf this year at Lizard Lounge, and it was quite possibly the best – up to now! Okay, I am a bit biased because David Tronzo is a friend and whenever he appears with the band I try to attend. Club d'Elf does a (mostly) bi-weekly residency at Lizard Lounge and has a devoted following. This evening was unusual because the show started with a set by Tronzo, one of the finest (if not the finest) slide guitarists in the world, and Ned Rothenberg, a terrific woodwind player who I had never seen perform.
Their set was a conversation between two instruments by two incredible musicians. My mind was blown during their nearly hour-long set. The way one bent notes around the other's blew through the boundaries of any form of jazz I have heard. I was not sitting in a good position t
o take photos, but I found I did not want to shoot as much as usual. This was music that deserved 100% of my attention; I closed my eyes for much of the set and let my mind take me where it wanted to go. I feel that my words cannot adequately describe the music I heard. I hope they release an album so they can reach more people.
After a very short break, Club d'Elf came to the stage. For those of you who do not know about this band, the anchor is Mike Rivard on bass; for each show, he assembles different musicians although many of the same people perform with the band on a sporadic but regular basis.This show included YaurÃ© Muniz on trumpet, Paul Schultheis on keyboard and synthesizers, Mike Rivard on bass and sintir, and Dean Johnston on drums, and added Tronzo, Ned, and Attah Poku, a guest percussionist. This might be the line-up that I like best, but I probably say that every time I see them. One thing I always enjoy is the way Tronzo and YaurÃ© converse with each other during the set. I never imagined that this was something that was even possible, but I seem to be learning more about the capabilities of excellent musicians especially when they are in the company of other amazing musicians. Extraordinary sounds can be heard when this synergy occurs.
There seemed to be a little more funk in the music this night, in addition to the jazz, trance, and other styles usually in evidence. I liked it quite a bit and hope to hear more of it from Club d'Elf. I am not someone who generally goes to hear the same band repeatedly during a tour (unless it's one of my favorite bands and I know they are breaking up after the tour) because the set lists and energy are usually similar. Club d'Elf is my exception because each show is so different. In my opinion, Club d'Elf is a jewel in Boston's music scene and completely worth seeing if you can allow your mind to accept something that is indescribable.