reviews of interest

CKW Trio featuring the James Lick Jazz Combo
CKW Trio members James Lick Jazz Combo members
Michael Cooke: woodwinds
Alex Kelley: cello, igil
Andrew Wilshusen: percussion
Miles Escobedo: Drums
Danny Hawthorne-Foss: Tenor Sax
Marcos Cronander: Alto Sax
Mark Petrella: Double bass (adult volunteer)


Simply put…it’s the opportunity for youth to perform, outside the classroom, in a real venue, before an audience.  Too many hours are spent in the classroom, or behind the closed bedroom door…practicing away…pages and pages of charts, yet no audience.  But not tonight…the kids were on stage, and the kids were smokin’!

A quartet created by former students of James Lick Middle School in San Francisco.  They held the stage as if it has been their life's journey.    Danny Hawthorne-Foss and Marcos Cronander on tenor saxophones traded solos on a number of standards ranging from Monk, to Coltaine, to Horace Silver, as well as an original tune penned by Danny Miles Escobedo on the trap set kept a very solid groove even though he looked as if he could break into a Metallica cut at any moment.  And the bass position was held down by a very gracious Jazz House volunteer, Mark Petrella from San Francisco, who stepped up in a time of need to rehearse and perform with the group.  Excellent young musicians.  I sat satisfied, knowing that there is a very solid generation of jazz musicians stepping up to the plate who will keep quality jazz music in our ears for many years to come. 

And, they were not the headliner for the evening!  That post was reserved for CKW Trio.  What a perfect match.  The members of CKW, Michael Cooke on woodwinds, Alex Kelley on chello, and Andrew Wilshusen on percussion took a special interest in the youth, inviting the James Lick Ensemble to join them on stage for number written by Michael specifically for the evening.  Again…another reason The Jazz House exists…to foster that level of mentorship.  The James Lick Ensemble improvised right along with CKW, hanging tight with the more experienced band.

And as for CKW’s portion of the evening…simply put…spectacular.   This is a local trio that should be receiving much more recognition in the jazz circles.  Definitely check them out whenever you get a chance.  CKW pushed all boundaries of current day jazz and had the packed house listening intently.   Andrew’s drum set alone pushed the traditional right over the edge as he incorporated a spring from a car’s suspension, and what looked to be an industrial, metal lamp shade on a cymbal stand.  Overall, this trio created a lot of original sound that I’m sure will be around for awhile. 

This evening at The Jazz House left everyone with a smile on their face as if they had just seen a blockbuster sneak preview, years before the feature arrives on the scene.  Youth, and a progressive jazz trio…looking clearly into the future.