Went and checked out Will and Wil at Bacar last night. Been meaning to check out this place for awhile, the have live jazz 6 nights a week and an astounding, comprehensive winelist. The food looked good but I didn't eat. Had a yummy Springboard Ale draft and some excellent, reasonably priced spanish red (10$ for 250ml). Crowd was kinda yuppie but I guess that's what you get in SOMA. I kind of liked the converted-warehouse vibe of the place...
The tunes were great. Nobody else in the bar was even paying attention to it at all, but I enjoyed it. No drums, so it was kinda mellow and loungy, but still pretty groovy. I was surprised that there was nobody else there for the music. Will Bernard is definitely one of the most under-appreciated musical geniuses on the planet. They were trying out some originals that they are rehearsing for Blades' upcoming album (which I was told features the killer lineup of Idris Muhammed on drums, Bernard, Joe Cohen, and Dayna Stephen), and also some standards. Maybe 1 or 2 Will Bernard songs.
Anyway it was a fun show. Talked to Will about his new album, "Party Hats." He was excited about it, and feeeling like the record company is going to do some real promotion. There's a record release party coming up at 12 Galaxies on March 23rd (tickets on sale through www.boomboomblues.com).
Also, Bernard/Amendola/Blades opening for Jessica Lurie at the Starry Plough in Berkeley February 23, and the next night Bernard with Lurie, Todd Sickafoose, and Dale Fanning at the Connecticut Yankee... Should be some really fun, funky shows for sure...
Good stuff. It's been a while but I've been to Bacar a few times to see Scott Amendola play with various "usual suspects". The last time was on NYE '05 before I went over to the Phil show.
It always surprises me that the place puts on such good talent in what is simply a restaurant bar. I've been given a strange eye each time I've been there by the uber-cool diners, confused by someone just listening to the music.
The show at the Starry Plough sounds good, I may check that out. This varying group of local players are great and play in many different formations (Plays Monk w/ Amendola is in Santa Cruz on Sunday) in many TINY settings; we are lucky in the BA!
And man, the Scott Amendola Band is playing in New York at The Jazz Standard on March 27th!! THIS is a MUST SEE for anyone in the area! New Yorkers, CHECK THIS BAND OUT!! Nels Kline & Jenny Scheinman together will blow your mind!
Then two nights later at the same venue a Nels Cline project plays. This is GREAT music!!
>>We are lucky in the BA! <<
>>And man, the Scott Amendola Band is playing in New York at The Jazz Standard on March 27th!! THIS is a MUST SEE for anyone in the area! New Yorkers, CHECK THIS BAND OUT!! Nels Kline & Jenny Scheinman together will blow your mind! >>
I second that! Saw them last year at the Kuumbwa in Santa Cruz and it blew my mind. Jeff Parker from Tortoise was supposed to be there but didn't make it at the last minute... I can only salivate at the thought of that lineup with the addition of Parker... Hopefully they will book some bay area dates with the full band someday...
And check out the "Believe" album if you haven't, it utterly kills... The New Monastery project that is playing two dates at The Jazz Standard after the SAB is an equally awesome band, paying tribute to the great jazz composer and pianist Andrew Hill... That's another great album to check out.
Some of Cline's more "out" solo stuff is over my head, but he's an amazing talent, and these two projects are some of his best work and definitely not to be missed live.
Will Bernard is a freakin' treasure. Been seeing since 1991 when he had the band Pothole that played such instrumental classics as "Acid Cop". Helluva guy. Guitar wizard.