The Greasy Beats | 12.10.03 | The Temple Bar | Santa Monica, CA

Joel Bowers
Every once in a while you get a gift in the Southern California area and with the holiday season upon us, the Greasy Beats decided to play Santa Claus. This late night throwdown by the L.A.-based horn-infused octet was a word of mouth type of show because of the rumored special guests. Well sure enough as they launched into their opening jam there was Robert Walter and Chris Stillwell of the Greyboy Allstars floating around The Temple Bar. It was just a question of when the guests would hit the stage. After a few jams and a few teases about the guests, Walter and Stillwell took the stage. Lead man and saxophonist Joel Bowers was playing traffic cop, directing not only each song but also the musician's physical transition once the former Greyboy Allstars hit the stage. What was most interesting was to see Bowers physically leave the stage at times as if he had something else to do while the rest played on, only to reappear and step right back into the jam. Robert Walter's trademark licks on the keyboards and Stillwell's bass sounded right at home on the stage where he and Chris have collaborated many times in the past.

When they made yet another switch, Elgin Park (a.k.a Mike Andrews) came up to play lead guitar with Mike Fratantuno on bass. Fratantuno is the current RW20th bassist and has played with the Black Eyed Peas as well as ulu in the past. Stillwell and Fratantuno switched places and all of a sudden you had three members of the Greyboys on stage with the Greasy Beats, which in itself is a treat. Mike Andrews was on fire and for the short time he was on stage he sure made it count. Eventually the entire Greasy Beats and Friends were on the stage together for the night-ending jam.

The oddest moment of the night was when Bowers said to the crowd, rather emphatically, "we're going to playing 'til 12:30 a.m." Many folks in the audience turned to each other and were like "yeah and?" The music was great, the crowd was good and Greasy Beats sure delivered the goods with the help of their friends.

JamBase | SoCal
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[Published on: 12/12/03]

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