"LH & the CCP at Steamers Cafe"
by TERENCE M. LOVE
Unpublished Review - Aug. 27, 2004
To experience live jazz nightly is probably the most redeeming quality of my profession. Not taking it for granted is my toughest challenge. Every so often, though, a group comes along that raises the bar and "wakes" me up. This was the case last Thursday (8/19/04), when bassist Luther Hughes brought his all-stars to Steamers, in a tribute to Coltrane and Cannonball, featuring Bruce Babad on alto, Glen Cashman on tenor, Tom Rainer on piano and Paul Kreibich on drums.
Babad's alto work exhibited all the fervor of Adderly at his prime and with one's eyes closed, you'd swear Cannonball was alive. Cashman took on John Coltrane with a different approach, not so much emulating his sound, but the "soul" of the legendary tenor player. The program focused mostly on combined works of the saxmen, though all players got their shot in the spotlight.
Veteran pianist Tom Ranier has credits as long as anyone's arm and he never ceases to amaze me with his chops; he swings hard, teaming perfectly with Kreibich's understated but "always" beat. Luther has become a mainstay at Steamers, and his versatility goes way beyond his longtime works with Gene Harris. In his first outing as a band leader at the club, Mr. Hughes has proven he's got the stuff. The crowd went nuts and begged for more. The only thing missing was a CD to sell. This band should record and do it now.
Review submitted via e-mail to Luther Hughes for use in press releases.