Caught the last set of Elliott Caine’s Quintet on Sunday night. Was an eerie ninety nine degrees at 8 pm, though a bone dry ninety nine and I dug it. The York, though, was plenty air conditioned and Elliott’s band swung like crazy in all that cool. The jazz got really intense toward the end, with drummer Kenny Elliott and a wild pianist from Portland named Sam Hirsch in one of those crazy drum and piano vortexes, driving and driving each other to crashing, spinning frenzies. Tim Emmons on electric bass was there between them, perfect, while Elliott blew these weirdly melodic lines from off stage and Scott Gilman his trademark staccato runs on the tenor. Then Elliott took the melody and soared with it, Gilman took it back and drive notes like a nail gun through the rhythmic blast and all came back in on the head for an explosive finish. The audience just about screamed its appreciation, and that was it. We paid our check and made our goodbyes and ventured out into the heat. People walked by in a Mojave Desert daze and talked of distant fires.
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