A dreary Saturday night in May was brightened up by the appearance of long time JSJBF member Ron Rauso and his terrific organ-based trio, The Burners at member venue The Chubby Pickle. The Jazz Café series is the work of JSJBF board member Joseph Vincent Riggio through his promotional company, J v ARCHER ENTERTAINMENT. The trio consists of veterans Dan Kostelnik on the Hammond B-3 mk2, Ron Rauso, who played a Gibson ES-330 1959 reissue guitar, and Dave Sang on the house kit.
They are all long-standing musicians in the business, with Dave having toured with national blues acts as well as being the drummer in the Stanhope House band for many years. Dan has played in many ensembles, most recently with the Bob DeVos Quartet. Ron was most associated with that great local band the ToneMasters. Their repertoire draws from such masters as Jimmy McGriff, Booker T and Charles Earland, from whom they took his nickname.
Songs highlighted in the first set included “People Get Ready,” by Curtis Mayfield played in the swing style which allowed the three members to showcase their considerable skills. This had the audience grooving. “The In Crowd,” made famous by The Ramsey Lewis Trio, stayed close to that version, but the band added their own stamp to it.
The second set included Nat Adderly’s “Work Song” which was much appreciated by those in attendance. Booker T’s “Green Onions” was another tune that allowed the players to stretch out, with Ron playing some inspired solos to complement Dan’s organ mastery. The song “Comin Home” was introduced by Ron as disco, but their rendition, while Dave supplied a disco beat, was so much more. Ron threw in a reference to the Rolling Stones “Miss You” during his solo, which did not go unnoticed by the crowd. The 70’s pop tune “More Today Than Yesterday” by Spiral Staircase got that swing treatment, and they ended with a beautiful rendition of “Summertime,” which was a harbinger of better days to come.
If you missed the show, The Burners will be playing locally this summer, including an appearance in the Long Branch Jazz & Blues Festival on August 27th.
WHEN: Saturday, May 14, 2022 from 6-9PM
WHERE: The Chubby Pickle, 23 Bay Ave., Highlands, NJ
a J v ARCHER ENTERTAINMENT joint presents Saturday Jazz Cafe
FEATURING: The Burners