Trumpeter Eric “Benny” Bloom wears many musical hats. Since mid-July he has been touring with the funk power aggregate Lettuce. The group is on its “Sounds Like A Party” tour and will be playing dates through the end of the year. They did two killer sets at the Bear Creek Bayou fest at the end of September.
But with a few days off, Bloom has booked two shows in New Orleans to keep his chops fresh and explore different styles of music He plays tonight at the Mid City fine listening establishment. For fans of Lettuce, this is going to be a different kind of show. Bloom promises to play “grown up music,” which translates to modern jazz.
His group, the Melodies, features three players steeped in the jazz idiom. Pianist David Torkanowsky is a local legend. For over three decades he has been putting his musical stamp on wide range of sounds. Most recently he has been playing a regular jazz gig with Galactic drummer Stanton Moore at Snug Harbor. But he is versed in every style of music. I remember him playing funk with members of the Meters back in the day.
Multi instrumentalist Khari Allen Lee is the lead saxophonist of Delfeayo Marsalis’ Uptown Jazz Orchestra and a faculty member at the prestigious New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA). As leader, Khari Allen Lee & the New Creative Collective has released three albums, Conscious Evolution (2012), Our Great Awakening (2014), and A New Earth (2016).
Bassist Max Moran matriculated through NOCCA and was a member of Donald Harrison, Jr.’s group while he was still in high school. He is a founding member of the critically acclaimed young jazz ensemble, the Bridge Trio, and plays with a wide range of artists. I recently saw him with percussionist Weedie Braimah’s new band and he tore it up playing West African music.
Drummer Brian Richburg, Jr. (pictured above) is the wild card. He’s sixteen years old and is a student at NOCCA. ‘Nuf said!
Showtime is 9:30 PM. Bloom also plays Friday night at the Maple Leaf Bar with Sonic Bloom.