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Matt Slocum the New Jersey- based drummer and composer returned to KSDS' Jazz Live on August 6, fronting a potent trio featuring LA heavyweights Josh Nelson on piano and Dave Robaire on bass for an evening of music mostly culled from a soon-to-be-released disc Black Elk's Dream.

Opening "A Blues," with stuttering, hyperactive drums over the sonorous bass of Robaire, Nelson made it all come to life with his florid yet lyrical commentary. Slocum embarked on a quiet exposition that never lacked fire or internal logic.

A ballad in the ECM vein, "Jacaranda," followed with Robaire stating the melody in the thumb position, while the gentle swish of Slocum's brushes kept the motion flowing. Nelson's deeply melodic solo brought shimmering cymbals and tom-tom agitation as offset dialog.

The late Mulgrew Miller's "Promethean," began as an intense, polyrhythmic burner that swung mightily, while "Yerazel," grooved with the more restrained lilt of Bill Evans, circa 1961. "Passaic," featured a raw, primal groove fueled by a symphony of rim-shots and a wicked ostinato.

Nelson's swinging aesthetic over Robaire's protean walk illuminated "Days of Peace," yielding a concise and propulsive all -brushes feature from the leader, whose soft mallets also set the stage for a lush, pastoral reading of "For Alin," another pensive ballad.

By contrast, "Portraits," swung like a horse thief in the Wild West, motoring on Slocum's intricate ride cymbal pings which inspired effusive repetitions from Nelson, and a fleet solo with multiple twists and turns from Robaire.

Finishing off with "Black Hills," from the new album, Slocum set an eerie atmosphere with a cymbal wash rubato leading into a dark ostinato and a rhythmically intense Nelson spot followed by a concluding solo of muffled explosions.

Excellent stuff, indeed.

Photo by Michael Oletta

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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