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

The force was with them

"Jazz meets Star Wars"? Gilbert Castellanos made it happen.

Gilbert Castellanos' "Jazz Meets Star Wars," concert on July 19 at Dizzy's could not have been more successful -- both from a musical standpoint as well as a commercial one. The show was well attended -- so much so, that for me it reached that rare nexus where gratitude and claustrophobia begin to merge.

Let me say, upfront, that I am not a Star Wars fan. I may have watched the first movie once on network TV, and I only remember looking forward to the commercials. Having said that, true jazz musicians can transform any material into something deep, and with a lineup consisting of Joshua White on piano, Hamilton Price on bass, Brian Levy on tenor saxophone, and Jamie Shadowlight on violin -- I'd probably be down for an evening devoted to the "song-stylings" of Lady Gaga.

I felt a little trepidation when the ensemble began with the all-too-familiar "Theme From Star Wars," but as soon as the melody passed that feeling was erased the moment White brushed a few simple chords onto the sonic canvas. Levy's dense jabbing drew the band into a committed swing which dropped into a hush for Shadowlight's more pensive exploration, filled with gypsy vibrato and raw aesthetics. When Castellanos entered, the intensity reached an ecstatic level, as the trumpeter's solo consisted of one long, continuous idea performed at escape velocity. White followed up with a fountain of notions gathering momentum through precise use of repetition as a tension builder.

White opened "Yoda's Theme," with gauzy, ambiguous harmonies over free input from Price and Schnelle before settling into an elastic, Wayne Shorter-ish groove. The trumpeter hit first, slowly connecting one thoughtful phrase to the next with gorgeous held tones before the pianist opened it up into an animated conversation with drums.

Shadowlight and White began "The Force," with classical touches until the melody instigated a potent bolero feel from the rhythm section. The pianist was both bluesy and lyrical, and the violinist countered with chilling glissandi, but it was Price who got the last word in with probing thumb-position acrobatics and deep baritone sonorities.

Schnelle's Tony Williams-esque drumming transformed "Imperial March," into a modal vehicle informed by White's choice harmonies. Castellanos jumped on the form, dare I say, like a Jedi warrior, racing, smearing and sputtering before Levy crowded dark spiraling arpeggios into the air. White twisted a trill into a vortex of kinetic energy surrounded by pneumatic hammering and Schnelle capped it all off with an ultra-musical drum solo that never lost sight of the drama.

Photo by Hiro Ikezi

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Padres player scandals, city council caves to John Moores, farm manager Russ Nixon tells history

1995 season-long strike, handicapped fans tell how it is for them, who really owns the team?
Next Article

Partly inspired by Pee-Wee’s Playhouse

The Rightovers, Temporex, Jessica Sanchez, Dave Keuning, Brown Mamba

Gilbert Castellanos' "Jazz Meets Star Wars," concert on July 19 at Dizzy's could not have been more successful -- both from a musical standpoint as well as a commercial one. The show was well attended -- so much so, that for me it reached that rare nexus where gratitude and claustrophobia begin to merge.

Let me say, upfront, that I am not a Star Wars fan. I may have watched the first movie once on network TV, and I only remember looking forward to the commercials. Having said that, true jazz musicians can transform any material into something deep, and with a lineup consisting of Joshua White on piano, Hamilton Price on bass, Brian Levy on tenor saxophone, and Jamie Shadowlight on violin -- I'd probably be down for an evening devoted to the "song-stylings" of Lady Gaga.

I felt a little trepidation when the ensemble began with the all-too-familiar "Theme From Star Wars," but as soon as the melody passed that feeling was erased the moment White brushed a few simple chords onto the sonic canvas. Levy's dense jabbing drew the band into a committed swing which dropped into a hush for Shadowlight's more pensive exploration, filled with gypsy vibrato and raw aesthetics. When Castellanos entered, the intensity reached an ecstatic level, as the trumpeter's solo consisted of one long, continuous idea performed at escape velocity. White followed up with a fountain of notions gathering momentum through precise use of repetition as a tension builder.

White opened "Yoda's Theme," with gauzy, ambiguous harmonies over free input from Price and Schnelle before settling into an elastic, Wayne Shorter-ish groove. The trumpeter hit first, slowly connecting one thoughtful phrase to the next with gorgeous held tones before the pianist opened it up into an animated conversation with drums.

Shadowlight and White began "The Force," with classical touches until the melody instigated a potent bolero feel from the rhythm section. The pianist was both bluesy and lyrical, and the violinist countered with chilling glissandi, but it was Price who got the last word in with probing thumb-position acrobatics and deep baritone sonorities.

Schnelle's Tony Williams-esque drumming transformed "Imperial March," into a modal vehicle informed by White's choice harmonies. Castellanos jumped on the form, dare I say, like a Jedi warrior, racing, smearing and sputtering before Levy crowded dark spiraling arpeggios into the air. White twisted a trill into a vortex of kinetic energy surrounded by pneumatic hammering and Schnelle capped it all off with an ultra-musical drum solo that never lost sight of the drama.

Photo by Hiro Ikezi

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close