Music is the ultimate existential moment, maybe that’s one of the things that attracted Jim Morrison to it, you have the moment, the notes hang there in the air and they’re gone, but you’ve experienced something real, ephemeral yet still has form. Even if you capture it on an album or CD it’s still only one moment in time, Robby Krieger played with his Jam Kitchen Band, at Mojoes in Joliet, Illinois, June 18th and gave the audience some moments that will be forever inscribed on their consciousness.
The Doors were always a synthesis of their influences, rock ‘n’ roll, jazz and the blues, Krieger with his Jam Kitchen Band features Frank Zappa alums Tommy Mars, Arthur Barrow, Larry Klimas from War, and Tom Brechtlein who has played drums for Chick Corea and Jean Luc Ponty. Jam Kitchen is kind of a trade-off for the band and audience members alike, Krieger and the band play music they obviously love and are in to, and the audience, mostly Doors fans get to see a rock legend playing, and are exposed to music they ordinarily may not be exposed to. Pulling from songs from Krieger's CD "Singularity", Frank Zappa, and The Doors the Jam Kitchen may not be exactly what Doors fans were expecting, there seemed to be a palpable sense of wanting more Doors especially in the opening set. While all the songs got applause and cheers it’s when the band played a Doors song that the iPhones and Smartphones came out to record the songs.
That’s not to say the audience didn’t appreciate the craftsmanship and skill of the players, everyone agreed the band is tight and the trading of solos between Krieger, Klimas, and Mars were well received. The band as a whole sounded like a band you would see at a jazz club except LOUDER. Krieger played as well as you would expect him to. The Doors songs were excellent, a standout was a moody “You’re Lost Little Girl” that was almost like a noir movie, you could almost decipher a story in the music. Mars’ whose style is more flamboyant on the keyboards than Ray Manzarek but his solos were as scintillating as Manzarek’s could be and you can tell he was enjoying himself when he was playing especially on the more jazz oriented songs such as “Screen Junkie”.
Klimas whose saxophone is there for the jazz solos, but he added something vastly different to “The End”. His saxophone on “The End” evoked a feeling of a lonely bluesman on a street corner at night under the glare of a streetlight, but that didn’t distract from the discordant and chaotic feeling of “The End”, it added a different level.
Arthur Barrow not only added a tight rhythm backing for the band but he also handled strong vocals for the Zappa songs covered as well as the first verse of "Roadhouse Blues."
Tom Brecthlein on drums, has a few good solos that aren’t as indulgent as drum solos became popular in rock, but a solo that rides the line between rock and jazz and caps off a couple of the jazz excursions.
Robby Krieger and the Jam Kitchen Band will play at Harrah’s tomorrow, June 21, in Atlantic City, admission is free.
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