Have Soul Will Travel
April 21, 2006
It's now obvious to me that this is Bert Cotton's band. The guitarist was the only member I recognized when I dropped in on a Have Soul Will Travel performance at d.b.a. a few months ago. I didn't even give the new line-up a shot. To me, Have Soul Will Travel is nothing but the talented group I was used to: Cotton, trumpeter Eric Lucero, saxophonist Brent Rose, bassist Cassandra Faulconer, and drummer Kevin O'Day.
Instead of O'Day, Gerald French played the skins Thursday night at d.b.a. The circle wasn't complete, and I could hear it. French was competent but less than confident. His laid-back style wasted the tight pockets that Faulconer creates without thinking.
Faulconer shone anyway. Mix her, Singleton, and Porter, and I could create the New Orleans super-bassist. It had been too long since I had heard Lucero and Rose's instrumental harmonies. They were catchy, powerful, and celebratory. The band was laid-back and joked with each other the whole concert. Their positive attitude certainly fostered the party vibe.
The key to Have Soul Will Travel is that each member is just as adept playing funk as they are playing jazz. Poppy progressions mixed with solo virtuosity.
Former Quintology guitarist Brian Seeger joined the band for two songs, and once Cotton got back into the mix, he performed better, presumably in response to Seeger's presence.