This past Saturday night the Crystal Bay Casino hosted a terrific evening of music featuring jazz and rock fused jams, funk, and soul.
Launching the evening in the Crown Room and coming out with all barrels firing was Los Angeles rock-fusion trio Organ Freeman. These three dudes hit the stage loud and charging and ripped through 45 minutes of vocal-free jams.
Trevor Steer’s keys and Erik Carlson’s guitar work took tunes playing lead and supporting roles featuring jazz, rock, blues, and psychedelic tones, but the star of this show was drummer Rob Humphreys. All three artists multi-tasked while playing their instruments, but Humphreys took it to another level. Meaning this in only the most appreciative way, if “Animal” from Sesame Street ever came to life, it might be Humphreys as he and his hair tore through his drum parts with speed, aggression, and reckless abandon.
With the crowd warmed after a quick change, Denver funk outfit The Motet took the stage to wrap their two-night run. Front man Lyle Divinsky was in his usual dancing, cajoling, gyrating form. Divinsky is impossible to ignore on stage as his infectious smile, smooth dance moves and big voice draw you in. Backed by drummer Dave Watts and a slew of talented musicians, there isn’t much drop-off when Divinsky exits occasionally for some jazz-fusion instrumentals before he returns and the band brings the funk.
Night two in the packed Crown Room dance party belonged to the bass lines of Garrett Sayers and the keyboard wizardry of Joey Porter. Sayers was simply ripping through his bass parts and completely in-step with Watts, while Porter went full galactic journey on his solo opportunities, working in groovy talkbox accents as well.
A drenched but not done crowd then headed to the Red Room for an after-party with Bay Area funk and soul artists The Humidors. Andre Cruz’s smooth soul vocals paired with spirited brass and keyboards kept the party going to the wee hours. The Humidors mixed original tunes with fun covers from Jimi Hendrix and Oakland’s own Tower of Power in a fast-paced set to complete the high-energy evening.