The Brian Kinler Band did an excellent set of mostly jazz originals at M Bar in Hollywood on Sunday, October 3, 2010. They featured several songs from their 2010 release, Stories From The Quarter. The band was also joined by vocalist Scott People for some fun and interesting covers.
The Brian Kinler Band took the stage just after 7:15 p.m. (yes, an early start due to it being Sunday), and opened with the always-fun "Wookiee Boogie." Jon Weiner on drums and Matt Whitney on bass set the cool rhythm, and Brian Kinler on piano played the heck out of the song.
Brian has been playing piano since he was three years old, and his expertise as well as his New Orleans roots showed immediately, and then throughout the evening.
Dave Welch joined the band on horn for "Open All Night." The band followed that with the beautiful and sweet "Makes Me Smile." It's always a treat to hear the band do this song. "Makes Me Smile" was included on the band's CD, Stories From The Quarter.
"Rosedown" is one of the band's most gorgeous songs. They play this one at basically every show, and it's always a favorite with the audience. This is due in large part to Andrea Gaspar on the violin. This song, perhaps more than any of the others, perfectly marries the violin with the piano. It's like a haunting dance these two talented musicians engage in on this song.
From there, they completely and quickly changed gears by doing an instrumental cover of The Charlie Daniels Band hit, "The Devil Went Down To Georgia."
"Lay You Down"
Andrea left the stage, and Brian had to call her back for "Lay You Down." Andrea's violin sounds incredible on this song, especially toward the end, with the play between the violin and horn. "Lay You Down" is another song featured on the band's 2010 release, Stories From The Quarter.
"Bourbonitis" is a fun new tune, one of the best of the newer material. There is a wonderful moment in the middle of this song where the song breaks down and Dave Welch does a horn solo over Matt Whitney's cool bass line. Music doesn't get much better than this.
Scott People on Vocals
Scott People then joined the band for several songs, the first being The Eagles' "Desperado." Yes, that is an odd song for a jazz band to cover. But the band has long had the habit of shaking things up with the vocalist portion of their shows, throwing in some surprising covers.
Scott People has an incredible voice. He has power, he has range, he has heart. And it had been more than a year since he last sang with the band, so expectations were high.
After "Desperado," he sang "Why Can't I Be You?" another surprising choice for a jazz band to cover. This is a song by The Cure, from their 1987 album, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. During this song, the stage lights went out, and the manager had to restart the system. The band, of course, played right through the blackout.
Scott then led the band into a fun version of "The Swingin' Shepherd Blues." They mixed in "The Lonely Goatherd." Yes, the song from The Sound Of Music. What more can be said? It has to be heard to be believed.
Scott finished his set of music with the band by singing Tina Turner's "I Idolize You." Dave returned on horn for this one, and Linda moss joined in on harmonica. Linda plays the hell out of that harmonica, sustaining powerful notes, then bringing it back down.
"Orange Blossom Special"
Andrea Gaspar took center stage on "The Fall" and then "Orange Blossom Special." Brian got the crowd to clap along, increasing the pace, which then Andrea followed on violin - always a great moment at this band's concerts.
Dave Welch and Linda Moss returned to the stage for an excellent version of "Ol' Betsy." "Ol' Betsy" is a song from Stories From The Quarter. It's a fun song that features solos by Jon Weiner, Matt Whitney, Dave Welch and Linda Moss. Linda Moss is also featured on the CD version of this song.
Stevie Wonder Cover
The set ended with Scott People returning for two more songs. The first, "I Just Had To Hear Your Voice," was just Brian on piano and Scott on vocals. This is a song by Oleta Adams.
The entire band returned to the stage for the final song, an excellent rendition of Stevie Wonder's "I Wish." "I Wish" was originally released as a single in 1976, and included on Stevie Wonder's double album Songs In The Key Of Life. The Brian Kinler Band, led by Scott on vocals, did a great version.
Concert Set List
- Wookiee Boogie
- Open All Night
- Makes Me Smile
- Rosedown >
- The Devil Went Down To Georgia
- Lay You Down
- When The Saints Go Marching In
- Why Can't I Be You
- The Swingin' Shepherd Blues/Lonely Goatherd
- I Idolize You
- The Fall
- Orange Blossom Special/Hungarian Song
- Ol' Betsy
- I Just Had To Hear Your Voice
- I Wish
There was no encore, due to time restrictions. This was the first time that The Brian Kinler Band performed at M Bar. The room has a nice feel - a bit like New Orleans, with its heavy red curtains and large booths.
M Bar is located at 1253 Vine St. in Los Angeles. (When going to M Bar, look for the address, because the building doesn't really have a sign, though they do put a little sign out at the entrance to the parking lot.)
The Brian Kinler Band's next show is October 16, 2010 at Room 5 in Los Angeles.
The Brian Kinler Band is Brian Kinler on piano, Andrea Gaspar on violin, Jon Weiner on drums, Matt Whitney on bass, and Dave Welch on trumpet and flugelhorn.
(This review was originally posted on October 4, 2010 on another site that no longer exists.)