The Showcase Lounge

May 19, 2004

As I walked into the dance room and looked upon the buffet of food, the door man said there was salsa. I thought some chips and salsa sounded pretty good. I figured out later he meant there was Salsa dancing and Salsa music. That was cool, too.

Wednesday night Salsa/Afro-Cuban/Latin jazz band Chevere played an enjoyable set at the old Uptown club.

They performed mid-tempo numbers that were just a little hotter than steamy to be sweatable. It was rare for them to speed things up and frenzy up the crowd.

Pianist David Ellington led Chevere. It was nice to hear high pitched Latin piano stylings coming from a real one instead of a synthesizer.

The night's highlight was an epic ballad played with just the rhythm section. Tumbadoras player Hector Gallardo went off on his instrument, and trombonist Rick Trolsen played with much energy and inspiration. These were tow things I didn't get from tenor saxophonist Brent Rose. Timbales player Gabriel Velasco rounded out the group.

The place was pretty empty except for dance session leftovers and guys watching an NBA playoff game in the corner. The dancers warmed up to the band after a few songs, and they hit the floor in full force for at least two of the group's livelier numbers. Dance, take a break, dance again. Salsa dancing is hard work, my friend. I just wish more people were there to add a dangerous party vibe to the show.

The Salsa band was great. Mmmmmmmm,

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