This one is for the locals again. But if you aren’t from Rochester, and happen to be in town looking for some entertainment, the D’Sievers Quartet is a local jazz band making itself known far and wide.
The bandleader, John Sievers, is an energetic trombonist of eclectic taste, but not so offbeat as to disturb the purists. But he will cover everyone from Thelonious Monk, to Tito Puente to the Beatles, and even the occasional Disney classic for good measure during any given set. He’s a witty, engaging front man who will throw in a dose of self-penned tunes along with those you already know.
Other than Sievers, the band is sort of fluid. In fact tonight’s lineup was playing together as a quartet for the first time. Astounding, as each member was visibly invested in what they were doing. There is nothing better than when nobody in a band stands out because they all stand out.
And they all did.
In jazz, each member of the band will take a solo, so you get to applaud in the middle of a song. These guys give you plenty of reason to do so.
The drummer, Nick Novotny (who also plays with Sievers in another local band, Loudmouth Brass) held down a beat with a business-like authority, yet he was having a blast behind the kit every second of the show. Speaking of the Beatles, throughout the set, he often flashed a devilish grin very reminiscent of Ringo Starr. He’s heavy-handed (except on the ballads – the man knows what he’s doing!) but it is a style that provides a solid foundation for the band.
On bass, Charlie Burket would fly totally under the radar, keeping things flowing nicely, but then out of nowhere, would rise to the surface and make the entire situation nothing but funk. Then as quickly as it came on, he’d retreat again beneath the waves, from which keyboardist Eric Straubmuller emerged.
Straubmuller played with an effortless elegance. He’d take a solid but straightforward solo and pull you into the music so much that before you realized it’s happening, he’d brought the whole thing to a rolling boil. His swift playing brought to mind Yoshitaka Tsuji, the great New Orleans keyboard player with Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers.
So again, if you are in town, look them up to see what venue you can find them at.