Monday, October 09, 2006

In the Iridium

The Sunday of a three day weekend is usually a good night to check out music in the clubs. Maybe you won’t find the largest crowds, but there’s always a good vibe. Such was the case last night at the Iridium. I guess I’ve been away from the Times Square area club too long. I hadn’t seen the new floor plan. Instead of the columns of tables up front, it is now laid out in smaller isolated table set-ups. I could not tell if that affected seating capacity, but it does create a more intimate night club atmosphere. The sound of course, is still great.

It was put to good use last night by Javon Jackson’s group. Jackson was actually an impressive last minute booking, after the scheduled headliner, Gato Barbieri, cancelled due to illness. They sounded great in a well mixed set of standards and originals. Jackson had some real chemistry playing with guitarist David Gilmore, particularly on a duet rendition of “Body and Soul.” He showed his bop chops on Bird’s “My Little Suede Shoes” and unleashed his funkier side on his originals, and popular standards like Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” and Joe Zawinul’s “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” his set closer. Also noteworthy was drummer, Rudy Royston, formerly of Denver, who definitely impressed, at one point catching a falling microphone stand literally without missing a beat.

That was actually the third time I have heard Jackson play this year, in various groups. He is definitely a charismatic performer, who never disappoints. That’s the way to usher in Columbus Day.