Current Issue Details

Buy Current Issue

Reviews > Shows

Published: 2003/05/03
by Chip Schramm

Garage A Trois, Twiropa, New Orleans- 4/30

I kicked off my New Orleans Jazzfest for 2003 with a
show at the Twiropa club on Wednesday night in the
warehouse district of New Orleans. Garage A Trois is
a band that I had long wanted to hear, but never
gotten the opportunity because of the sporadic nature
of their concert dates. Between Stanton Moore's
constant touring with Galactic and Charlie Hunter's
own solo tour agenda, getting their schedules to jibe
must be a pretty difficult proposition. But Jazzfest
seems like as good a time as any, and the
home-standing Moore brought the group together for
some gigs, with avant-garde saxophonist Skerik and
percussionist Mike Dillon rounding out the lineup.

Twiropa is a really interesting venue to see live
music. It was an old twine and rope factory, hence
the name, but had surprisingly great acoustics for a
live show. There are 2 rooms for music, one on the
left of the club, and one on the right. There is a
large lounge area in the middle where people can
mingle and sit on couches and in chairs. The Dirty
Dozen Brass Band was playing in the opposite wing this
night, so the whole place was filled with music
patrons milling about the entire evening.

A power-soul band from Seattle called Maktub opened
the show and their lead singer would later join Garage
A Trois for a cameo appearance later in the evening.
When GAT finally hit the stage, Skerik served as the
MC, shouting into the microphone like an announcer at
a boxing ring. He declared that it was time for the
main event, and the band weighted in at a collective
666 pounds, among other things. Being a bit on the
experimental side, GAT had some loose and amorphous
moments, but tight jams were definitely on the agenda
as well. The group started out working within the
framework of jazz and funk influences, with Hunter's
unique guitar style sounding like a Hammond B-3 and
electric bass just as much as it did lead guitar. His
instrumental conversations with Moore served as the
backbone of many jams, but weren't the only strengths
of the group by any means.

At one point in the short-ish first-set, Moore and
Dillon broke down into a long and passionate
afro-cuban sounding drum solo that had the music fans
jumping around and dancing just as much as the
jazz-based numbers did. I didn't know anything about
Dillon before the show and was unsure how his
contributions would fit in with such an accomplished
drummer as Moore, but he stepped up played an amazing
show all night long. The band also surprised me by
playing a Bad Brains medley, with Hunter and Skerik
steering the jams into punk territory to really
provide some variety to the material they normally

The second set included lots of special guests. By
the end of the show, they had no fewer than 4
saxophone players on the stage simultaneously. First
Dillon brought 2 of his friends on stage from a band
that I believe was called either "37" or "Mayfair."
Either way, one was on percussion, leading to another
massive drum session, and the other stepped in on sax,
teaming up with Skerik to scatter wild riffs
throughout the set. A little later Reggie Watts, the
frontman for Maktub, joined the lineup to provide
powerful vocals on a rollicking cover of AC/DC's "Back
In Black."

As the night wore down, more special guests came out
to bolster the horn section and led up to a very deep
and textured encore jam. Jessica Lurie from Living
Daylights was one of those blowing away on the brass,
serving as a great example of the communal nature that
makes live performances during Jazzfest so great. By
the end of the show it was well past 3am, but of
course the night was still young. Fans pouring out of
Twiropa were heard debating which show they were going
to next, without any worries at all about the elusive
sandman or need to sleep. I can tell already this is
gonna be one long, long, crazy, crazy weekend.

Show 0 Comments