Home  Reviews  Articles  Calendar  Presenters  Add Event     
Chamber
TURINA PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHTS SSU FACULTY CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, January 29, 2023
Chamber
ROMANTIC FERVOR IN FRISSON ENSEMBLE'S RAC CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, January 22, 2023
Symphony
RACH-ING OUT: SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY EXPLORES HOLLYWOOD’S LOVE AFFAIR WITH RACHMANINOFF
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, January 22, 2023
Choral and Vocal
ORGAN-CHOIR COMBO IN BACH CELEBRATION
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, January 21, 2023
Recital
FRENCH FLAVOR IN RARE FOUR-HAND RECITAL
by Judy Walker
Sunday, January 15, 2023
Choral and Vocal
POTENT HANDEL ORATORIO IN ABS' WEILL HALL HOLIDAY CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, December 18, 2022
Choral and Vocal
HALLELUJAH! MARIN ORATORIO IN HOLIDAY SPLENDOR CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Saturday, December 17, 2022
Choral and Vocal
SILVER ANNIVERSARY BACH RECITAL AT INCARNATION'S EVENSONG SERVICE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, December 4, 2022
Symphony
JOY, LOVELY DIVINE SPARK!
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, December 4, 2022
Other
DINOVA PIANISM CHARMS SATED AUDIENCE AT J-B MARIN RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, November 20, 2022
OTHER REVIEW
Green Music Center / Saturday, September 25, 2021
Jon Cleary, piano snd the Absolute Monster Gentlemen

Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen Sept. 25

CLEARY'S NEW ORLEANS BAND IGNITES PARTY FOR THE GREEN AT SSU

by Terry McNeill
Saturday, September 25, 2021

A dramatic and unique start to the new Green Music’s Center’ 2021-2022 season exploded in a “Party for the Green” Sept. 25, a New Orleans (NO) style commotion featuring Jon Cleary and his Absolute Monster Gentlemen band, inside and outside of Weill Hall.

Beginning with a private gourmet dinner in the GMC’s Prelude Restaurant, and a reception (drinks only) on the Trione Patio, the first musical part came as Mr. Cleary mounted the Hall’s stage to ravage the concert Fazioli piano, playing a 45-minute set of solos. It was an outsized celebration of Louisiana soul, R&B, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Cuban, French Quarter jazz and presumably much more. House lights were dim and the close-at-hand microphone carried Mr. Cleary’s unrivaled sound to 200 excited listeners, some standing and some clapping with the music.

However, much also was missing. Mr. Clearly is a classic New Orleans shouter and his voice was a raw blend of drawl and aggressive phrasing, and he isn’t a very good pianist. Acoustically his always loud voice collided with the piano sound and the mic’s pickup, producing a continual bevy of indistinct words, albeit ones with potent emotions. His right shoe pounded the floor in sync with his top register and rolled bass chords, in a style far removed from stride or boogie-woogie piano. The highlights were the playing of musical memories of the old NO Storyville section and the Roy Price song that ended the session. Well, he is a stylist with a convincing singularity.

What happened after intermission? The real party began in front of the Hall’s doors where more NO food and sensational NO fashion drinks welcomed the audience streaming out from the lobby, and Mr. Clearly quickly found his preferred musical ground with his band and a two-manual electric piano amplified to be heard all the way to Rancho Cotati’s night football game. Three additional musicians (bass, vocals, drums, tambourin) jumped in and the party took flight. A mostly non-student group of oldsters gathered close to the Band, some with drinks and food in hand, for dancing and palpable enjoyment. Smiles abounded and the crisp evening weather cooperated.

SSU President Judy Sakaki, GMC’s Board Chair (John Boland) and Executive Director (Jacob Yarrow) underscored in announcements the evening’s gala return to live performances after 18 months in COVID purgatory, and the substantial benefits the GMC’s productions provide for the University and local communities. Thirty Four performances in Weill and Schroeder run through late May, 2022.