Great jazz — no jive
Wow, what a performance Friday evening at the recently reopened Bamboo Room in downtown Lake Worth! Talented keyboard player Tom Regis led an ensemble of outstanding musicians featuring Freddie Jacobs on trumpet and flugelhorn, and Nicky Orta.
The electric-bass player received a Grammy nomination for his work on the 2005 album “…And Sammy Walked In,” by Sammy Figueroa and his Latin Jazz Explosion, and toured the world in 1988 with jazz trumpet giant Arturo Sandoval. Orta collaborators Carlomango Araya on drums and guitarist Jorge Garcia rounded out the group, both with impressive backgrounds. Vocalists Yvette Tiger and Jill Lurie added piquant flavorings to the brew.
Here’s what All About Jazz magazine said of Jacobs: He “sounds as bright and assured as Freddie Hubbard or Woody Shaw, but with verve and a smooth, fluent originality.” He has toured with some of the greats of jazz: Eddie Palmieri, Jimmy McGriff, Lionel Hampton, Buddy Rich, and the Sam Jones/Tom Harrell band. He performed with them at the Newport Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, and the Village Vanguard. Jacobs also has had his own band Birdland, Sweet Basil, Visiones, and Trumpets.
The hot five meshed like clockwork, each gear working individually and in unison with the others to keep precise time in a dazzling array of rhythms that permeated the big broad room. It was a real treat, enjoyed by an audience that peaked at around 40, leaving many empty seats. It is a shame that the city hosting the Palm Beach County Cultural Council cannot attract more people who appreciate jazz. The Bamboo Room is a great venue for the American art form, and one can only hope it continues to present jazz, and people from outside Lake Worth will augment the paucity of folks from the local environs to enjoy the music and support it.