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As I acknowledged Wednesday, the $40 price tag to see legendary bassist Ron Carter at Bohemian Caverns this weekend is hefty for the storied club. Here, in reverse order of importance, is why you should do it anyway.
5. A great club. Bohemian Caverns has become perhaps the best jazz club in town. Its long history helps, as do its beer selection and intimate atmosphere, but thanks in no small part goes to co-owner and talent coordinator Omrao Brown who scores coup after coup with his bookings from the local, national, and international scenes.
4. Double percussion. Drummer Payton Crossley and percussionist Rolando Morales-Matos are a formidable team. Crossley is largely subliminal, keeping the beat on brushes or muffled sticks, while Morales-Matos works magic on a crazy complex setup of instruments that includes shakere and other African pieces, cowbells (played with his fingertips), and more gongs and bells than there’s time to count.
3. Stephen Scott. One of the most underappreciated pianists on the scene, Scott is as comfortable in gospel and ragtime playing as he is with the outer reaches of the instrument’s possibilities. Last night’s set found him displaying a fine sense of humor, too, tossing around quotes of “Three Blind Mice” and Christmas carols in solos otherwise sparkling with imagination and technique.
2. The most greatest bass sound in the world. Carter not only has a nimble, elastic style that encompasses both plucking and two-handed tapping techniques, but a brilliant ear for resonance, with a mighty wood sound. On top of that, he has endless capacity for melody, flawless and innovative harmony, and knows more about syncopation than any drummer alive.
1. It’s Ron Fucking Carter. Come on! The man played with Miles, Herbie, and Wayne. The man played with EVERYONE, everyWHERE. How can you pass that up?