Red 123 Comes to the Highlands


Another great night of jazz was on display at member venue, the Chubby Pickle, when Steve Bryant’s band came to town this past Saturday night. Producer and board member Joseph Vincent Riggio, who also doubles as sound man, again showed his great ear for the music as Red123 entertained those in attendance with three sets of jazz favorites, including some of Steve’s originals. The trio consisted of the aforementioned Steve Bryant on guitar, Joe Peterson on stand up bass, and Bobby Boyd on drums. Special guest Chris Andreach, Steve’s childhood friend and leader of the band TriCity Jazz, sat in on about half the songs on alto and curved soprano sax. 

The first tune, “Moanin” by Bobby Timmons, was a smooth entry to what was to come, with some nice soloing by Steve on his Pat Metheny model Ibanez. Chris joined them on alto sax for “Come Home Baby,” and it was plain to see that their life-long friendship carries through to their music. The next two tunes, “Tear It Down” and “James” acknowledged two of Steve’s biggest influences, Wes Montgomery and Pat Metheny. His playing paid homage to these masters but was given his unique stamp. It was also evident that bassist Joe Peterson, who also fronts the Weeks/Peterson Quintet, is well-versed in these songs, and his stellar playing, either in rhythm or lead, was a terrific compliment to Steve. That goes as well for drummer Bobby Boyd, a music educator at Monmouth University, who is at home in many styles of music and laid down the perfect groove to highlight the songs. Chris again joined the band on curved soprano sax for Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints” and Horace Silver’s “Nica’s Dream,” a song written for jazz patroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter in 1954. The set finished with a rousing version of “Take the A Train.”

The second set featured an original tune, Blue Grey, with Steve playing a Taylor acoustic guitar. Other highlights included “Cantaloupe Island” and “Afro Blue,” featuring Chris on alto sax, as well as a beautiful rendition of “Summer Time.” A short third set included “Jaco,” written in tribute to probably the finest jazz bassist, Jaco Pastorius, and another original tune, Tom’s Blues, which featured an outstanding drum solo by Bobby Boyd. All in all it was another fine night of jazz, played by an excellent group of seasoned musicians to the delight of those who came to hear it.