LIVE: Steel House @ the Falcon, 9/9/14

September 19th, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg
Steel House

Steel House

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

We are most fortunate that upstate New York jazz clubs and concert halls have been used as laboratories and proving grounds for world-class jazz musicians wanting to try out new compositions and bands in front of live audiences. In the ’90s, Chick Corea used the Van Dyck to work on new compositions with Origin. Joshua Redman used the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall as his retreat and rehearsal space to develop the arrangements for his album of mostly covers Timeless Tales.

Such was the case again last week when the new band Steel House debuted all new compositions. While Albany rocked to the triple-drum threat of King Crimson, listeners at the Falcon in tiny Marlboro were treated to the gentle playing of a new all-star jazz trio.

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The band is composed of:

Ed Simon (piano, keyboards): who I have seen at The Egg with the SF Jazz Ensemble and has recently released a solo cd
Scott Colley (bass): who most recently has seen in Nippertown playing in Gary Burton’s New Quartet
Brian Blade (drums): best known for his association with Joni Mitchell as well as leading his Fellowship Band

The concert consisted of compositions by all the members of the band. The compositions can best be described as flowing, meandering, point and counterpoint with maximum interplay with the members of the trio. Titles such as “What If,” “Chronicle,” “Within Begin” and “Country” portray the abstract nature of the compositions and the interplay of the bandmembers. They subtly reminded me of the gurgling waterfalls that are located adjacent to the club.

Colley played a subtle groove on his bass on “King Pin,” while Simon played on an electronic keyboard in a style reminiscent of the late ’70s.

The set ended with a re-working of Cole Porter’s “All of You,” humorously titled “87.5% of You.”

That about says it all…

PS: In case you were wondering where the name Steel House came from: I was advised it was given to the band as one of 100 names, proposed at a rate of 20 names per day for five days and voted on by members of the band.

Ed Simon

Ed Simon

Scott Colley

Scott Colley

Brian Blade

Brian Blade