Montavilla Jazz Festival Day 1, Act 1 – Ron Steen Quartet

Montavilla Jazz Festival
This entry is part 9 of 20 in the series Live Show Reviews

Montavilla Jazz Festival Day 1, Act 1 – RON STEEN QUARTET: I don’t think the organizers could have picked a better act to open the 2017 festival… Ron’s fantastic (& timely) drums were the anchor for a whole series of tunes composed by the quartet’s pianist, Phil Goldberg… the short video I captured clearly displayed the energy all the players have for great jazz, with Ryan Meagher doing some superb guitar and bassist Dennis Calaza running some very tasty lines through the piece, as you’ll hear below…

This was my first “live” listen to Ryan’s mellow jazz guitar work, so that was a genuine treat for me… additionally, the thing that was most striking about this quartet is that every note, every nuance was right “on time”… jazz just doesn’t get any better than that… I loved Phil’s piano work (of course, I suspect his energy levels were so stellar because the tunes featured his originals)… and Dennis’s bass work was simply fascinating.  An absolutely GREAT jazz set from true professionals – again, a perfect way to start this fantastic festival off!

Ron has played with many of my musical heroes, too, like Eddie Harris, Dexter Gordon and Charles Lloyd… he has a very active schedule in the Portland area, and I’ve no doubt I’ll be cruising on down Portland way many times over the next few months to witness his great work! 

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