Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Review: Iridium jazz club

On Monday, December 6, legendary pop-prog rock singer Todd Rundgren performed jazzy versions of some of his classics. It was a night filled with flubs, tongue-in-cheek humor and good-down-to-the-bones music.

T.W. Doyle and the Les Paul Trio opened the first set with some Les Paul favorites like "Blue Skies" and "How High the Moon." One third of the trio, Lou Pallo, who Keith Richards dubbed "the man of a million inversions," introduced his new signature Gibson Les Paul guitar, which had an ebony front and walnut back - an absolutely gorgeous instrument.

When Todd finally came on stage, drink glass in hand, he tripped onto the stage, falling on the hostess, both of them toppling over onto the stage. He recovered quickly, but it set the humorous tone for the evening. "I Saw the Light," "Why Can't We Be Friends," "Influenza," "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference," "Never Neverland," "Born to Synthesize," and "A Dream Goes on Forever" were done in a different style from the original versions, with a bossa nova-ish rhythm. Todd forgot the words to some of the songs, but sailed through them humming, whistling and flat-out jamming. It was refreshing to see someone improvising and letting down his guard, catering to the packed house as much as to his band, which included his right-hand man, Jesse Gress. The night was a memorable one for many reasons, with a legendary rocker as at ease with himself as he was with his pop culture-significant music.


Anonymous said...

I always loved that tune by "WAR"
prefer "Can We Still Be Friends".

They didn't do 'Kiddie Boy' or
"Cisco Kid"so far as I can tell from the review. Yes It's best to keep one's humor~

Anonymous said...

Just a little context: I'm a big fan - he has done so much fabulous work. I was at the Iridium for this, thought, hey, cool idea, Todd and the Les Paul Trio. However, I have to say that it would have been a much better night had he not had the extra few drinks. It was just embarrassing, really. And, not just me, there was eye-rolling everywhere I looked. From time to time, he got it together, and we heard what the evening could have been...

The trio was great, and the night had a few surprise guests. Gary U.S. Bond was the highlight of the evening, wow, smoking!

Hey, we all over-indulge from time to time. And yes, great to be at the club - but I did come out of there pretty disappointed - could have been so good...