[JPL] jazz89KUVO's Holiday party became a funky jam session

Arturo arturo893 at qwest.net
Sun Dec 16 16:27:30 EST 2007

This year instead of seperate volunteer and staff parties we decided to
combine them into one huge affair when the New Orleans funky groove band,
Grrove Sect who were in Colorado in August for Telluride and then in Denver
a few days later asked if they could perform in our performance studio live
as their gift to us. How could we refuse, so Saturday the 15th about 200
persons crammed into the station for a funky good time, we had Dave's
Authenic BBQ cater the entire affair and they refused to be paid for it,
just trade for underwriting spots. We also had D'Vine Wine donate the
services of 2 employees who served a variety of Colorado wines while
Breckinridge Breewery donated their cast of brews, so everyone was well fed
and in good spirits by the time 3pm came and the band began to play for the
in-studio audience as well as having the show broadcast over the air and via
stream, here at the station we piped in the show to all areas so everyone
could enjoy the music. Fred Wesley was the trombonist for the group and
after a sizzling 45 minute set they took a break and for the second show,
Denver resident Henry Butler played the piano and our own master blues
guitarist(Solomon Burke's' touring band music director) Sammy Mayfield
joined the fun for a hellacious jam session that had the whole building
jumping off its foundation.

here's what our Wed evening host Geoff Anderson wrote ......

Snow in New Orleans
Henry Butler/Groovesect
December 14-15, 2007
Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret/KUVO, Denver

            Snow didn’t come to New Orleans, but New Orleans came to Denver
this weekend in the form of a heapin’ helpin’ of musical gumbo, jambalaya
and soul-nourishing funk. Friday night, as the latest snowstorm was petering
out, Henry Butler brought his New Orleans sound to a packed Lannie’s
Clocktower Cabaret. The next afternoon, Groovesect, a young New Orleans band
funked up the KUVO studio in a live broadcast during KUVO’s annual volunteer

            Henry Butler’s piano playing simply has to be seen to be
believed. He has a technique that could only have been developed over tens
of thousands of hours of practice. His hands are truly independent, united
only by the fact that they’re usually playing the same song. On a few tunes
the blind pianist would raise his left hand as much as 4 to 6 inches off the
keyboard for an aerial, percussive attack. He tends not to let any keys go
to waste, using all 88. If the piano had 100 keys, he’d probably use all
those too.

            After Katrina, Butler relocated from New Orleans to Denver, but
he still tours a fair bit. In fact one of the things he likes about Denver
is the airport. Nevertheless, he still plays around the area several times a
year; yet another local treat. In his solo show Friday night, he started
with a couple Monk tunes, Rhythm-a-ning, then Well You Needn’t. The latter
featured a loping, almost western sounding left hand. He followed the Monk
tunes with a couple originals he recorded back in the last century, the
Latin-tinged Samba C and then Orleans Inspiration.

            One characteristic of Butler is his eclecticism. He told the
audience early in the show, “If you don’t like what you’re hearing right
now, stick around, there’s bound to be something you like soon.” Kind of
like the weather. He ventured into the blues with a version of Basin Street
Blues, then broke out the first vocal of the evening with Something You Got.
He introduced that by noting the highly intellectual subject matter of some
classic New Orleans lyrics; things like “Sitting here la, la, waiting for my
ya, ya.” Hey, New Orleans music is for a good time, not necessarily to save
the world.

            Butler’s second set was all vocals including some classic covers
like Working in a Coal Mine and Sitting on the Dock of the Bay. Coal Mine
was particularly fun, not sounding at all like the Lee Dorsey oldie or Devo’
s more manic version. Butler turned it inside out and put his own stamp on
it. For the blues raver Roll ‘em Pete, proprietress Lannie Garrett joined
him on vocals adding some female energy. Butler wrapped it up by getting
back to his New Orleans roots with Professor Longhair’s Mardi Gras in New

            But the New Orleans attack on Denver wasn’t over. The next
afternoon, Groovesect laid down some funky grooves in the state-of-the-art
KUVO performance studio. Because the annual volunteer Christmas party was
going on at the same time, the studio was packed. Inexplicably, somebody set
up three rows of chairs for the audience. This is not sitting down music. I
don’t know how those sitting in those chairs could do it. Actually, I think
not sitting still was the secret. I remained standing so I could bounce
around, but a few times I looked over at the seating area and saw a couple
dozen heads all moving back and forth in unison, kind of like small waves
sloshing back and forth in a bucket.

            Groovesect is a band of mainly twenty-something musicians from
New Orleans, keeping the funk tradition and New Orleans music in general
alive in a post-Katrina world. The band was joined Saturday afternoon by
James Brown alum Fred Wesley on trombone and vocals. Wesley joins the band
on several tunes on their new album On the Brim. Another notable band member
is Alfred “Uganda” Roberts on congas. 64 year old Roberts is a New Orleans
funk veteran with a resume that includes Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, the
Meters and Professor Longhair.

            Groovesect mixed some of their originals with funk classics like
Chameleon, Pass the Peas, It’s a House Party and James Brown’s Gonna Have a
Funky Good Time (Doing it to Death). The band was scheduled to play about 30
to 40 minutes but ended up going an hour and a half. The audience members
weren’t the only ones having fun. About half way through the set, Henry
Butler showed up and got behind the piano. His virtuosity ratcheted up an
already nearly incendiary atmosphere even higher. Butler’s blistering solos
in the midst of the Groovesect funk machine opened yet another door to his
musical house. To put an exclamation point on the whole thing, KUVO Blues
Show host and bona fide blues man Sam Mayfield turned up with this guitar
and led the band in an extended blues shuffle/solo vehicle for most of the
band members.

The snow on the ground outside didn’t all quite melt during these two sets,
but us northern folk got to warm up with some hot music from southern


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