Jun 10, 2014
The hype around a "Supergroup" or a "Superband" seems far more suited to Rock & Roll than jazz. Groups like Blind Faith (Clapton, Winwood, Ginger Baker) or Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young are few and far between, and thus the tales or their egos, battles and sometimes epic music make for great press fodder. In jazz, its not unusual to find musicians who could all be top band leaders working together. A few one-shot deals might qualify for Supergroup status - I'm thinking of the Five Peace Band from 2009 that brought together Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Kenny Garrett, Christian McBride and Vinne Colaiuta for a great live album - but otherwise not so much.
An exception might be made for the band that Corea Elektric Band alumnus Mike Pope is bringing to Regattabar in Boston tonight. With Pope on bass, his House of Cardinals band will be Eldar Djangirov on piano, Joe Locke on vibes, Bob Franceschini on sax and Mauricio Zottarellu on drums, this is a rare treat to hear a group of top-flight improvisors share a stage outside of New York or the festival circuit.
The CD they are supporting, Cold Truth, Warm Heart, is solid all the way through, with different tracks bringing out the different facets of the band members, of which Pope, Locke and Zottarelli are three. Whether it is Pope's liquid lines on "What I Meant to Say", Seamus Blake out front on Locke's composition "Dear Life" or Geoff Keezer bringing the funk on "Ral and Tonto (for Ricky and Nicky)". Eldar and Franceschini are more than up to the task of filling in for Blake and Keezer, so this should be a fun evening.