GREYBOY & MMW | 04.14.07 | DENVER
Greyboy Allstars/MMW/Cut Chemist
04.14.07 :: Fillmore Auditorium :: Denver, CO
Cut Chemist got the groove started early Saturday night with a mesmerizing set of booming bass lines, old and new techno funk, masterful scratching and dual video screens of morphing surreal images. The small but growing crowd buzzed around the venerable Fillmore as I reacquainted myself with the hundreds of photographs and posters from decade’s of legendary performers that cover the walls. During set break, Medeski, Martin and Wood paced quickly past me and soon emerged for their set.
After a brief break, the Greyboy Allstars appeared. It’s the original lineup with the exception of longtime drummer Zak Najor, who is not touring despite playing on the new album. Guest drummer Eric Kalb filled in superbly. Familiar Allstar jams soon gave way to new material, which is less heavy but just as funky. Guitarist Elgin Park did his best to sing a high pitched lead on “How Glad I Am,”
Denson and Walter have proven to be more than capable bandleaders and songwriters. Walter, who recently spent several months touring with Steve Kimock’s band, just seems to get better by playing with as many great musicians as he can. To see them flourish in a collective as equals with Park, Chris Stillwell (bass) and Kalb was impressive. No one player dominates, and the solos never drag. The entire set smoked. At one point, I turned aside and noticed Willie Nelson’s smiling face on the Fillmore wall during a particularly well polished jam. I had to agree with Willie on this one.
This superfunk extravaganza was a highlight of the Denver concert year. MMW’s unique compositions were an excellent appetizer for the Allstars, who sounded as fresh today as they ever did. The individual members of the Greyboy Allstars have obviously benefited from their various side projects. It’s clear the band is still hungry, and one hopes GBA can sustain the creative energies that drew them back together for years to come.
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