Living Daylights | 12.06.02 | Siskiyou Brew Pub | Ashland, OR
music of the Living Daylights fills the
room with thick scented colors of jazz, pulsating, penetrating my body. It integrates
every organic, stale and breathing entity within range into a single flowing wave-creating
a living butter churn. I feel as if hot cocoa has seeped into every vein, joint,
pore and morsel of my being. The music feels golden. It starts at my toes and
travels up, exuding radiance from my chest. My whole body swallows the beat, mid-section
folds and breaks into undulating rhythms, independently, as limbs and appendages
caress the air all the while. My fingers grab the music and float it around like
I've seen the Living Daylights more times than I can recollect, and their music
makes sense to me more than anything else in my daily life. Perhaps that reveals
a problem in my personal life, but I'm in no mood for self-reflection and choose
to acknowledge it as The Daylights' deep, sinuous creation of sound, leaving me
full and fluid within my flesh. They are jovial this evening, playing as if the
room is full of old friends-which many are. The Siskiyou Brew Pub in Ashland,
OR is an intimate, pricey and slightly pompous venue, but the crowd and band are
joyful and ready to play.
The trio bursts with talent, experimenting with jazz and connecting their instruments
with deep rhythms and a cohesive melding of sounds. They share the music well,
taking turns to drive, and pour it through the room-periodically grabbing it,
all taking hold at once, twisting, tweaking, rising, squeezing and exploding it
into particles jittering through the air.
Lurie blows deep violet, magenta and blue waves from her saxophone, coursing
the music through her entire body. She picks it up from the floor and floats it
out. The saxophone has so many knobs and different ways of creating sound between
the metal chords and Jessica's strength, length, intervals and partitions of breath-still
she seeks more. Her voice screams into the horn's microphone like a hyperactive
seal, reaching a higher pitch than possible on the sax. Bubbly angel yelps follow,
and through every sound, voice or instrument, she plays with pedals at her feet,
expanding the songs. Cowbells, shakers, and tambourines fill the spaces between
the brass. Any saxophone fan, or jazz enthusiast, needs to witness the dexterous
skill, depths and unique stylings of Jessica Lurie.
keep turning to Jessica to pay tribute to the rich melodic tunes from her horn,
and find her squatting and adjusting levels or hitting a cowbell. I quickly swim
myself over to Arne Livingston on the bass and thank him for my embodiment
as a worm-my whole self transformed into a tongue, connected, segmented and writhing.
His fingers frolic across the sonorous strings of his bass telling a children's
story of antelope prancing through a grass-filled, golden meadow. I've never witnessed
a bass and saxophone overlap in sounds as much as these two. Looping bass rhythms
support the songs, leaving Arne open to tweak poignant interludes as needed.
Fanning, on the drums, seems to be getting more powerful every time I see
the band. He is mastering his chosen creative expression and reaching a new
level with the drums. It's a good thing he recognizes his power and chose an
instrument that can take a beating, though a drumstick or two have been sacrificed
as innocent victims (splintered and tossed aside without a flinch) to Dale's
Arne drops the bass to beat on a snare drum for a bit of the last song, high-energy
spirals the music like a conch shell to the sky. They step off the small stage
and mingle with friends, with no intention of returning to the stage-after almost
four hours of playing I understand. The crowd yelps and coaxes; Dale is the
first to giggle his way back to their exulted platform.
We have to work for the encore, creating a beat with clapping and a name for
the song. Improvisational weavings flow in violent skips across placid waters.
Jessica plays the saxophone with her left hand and a tambourine with the right.
The tempo rises with Dale's transition into a beat more comfortable for the
horn's integration. Drums pitter out and Dale leans back, eyes closed with a
beer, enjoying the shimmering, gentle, thick breeze of the saxophone and bass.
Lullaby melodies beautifully explore the settled jazz residue of the evening
for minutes, then stop.
JamBase | Oregon
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