There is a real joy and beauty in hearing wonderful improvisers, that know and appreciate each other, interact in an almost instinctive way. That is what I was treated to last night at dba in New Orleans, by 3 Now 5. The group is usually called 3 Now 4, but the added bonus of Scott Bourgeois’ presence made the band 3 Now 5 last night.
James Singleton (bass), Dave Easley (pedal steel guitar), Johnny Vidacovich (drums), Tim Green (tenor sax), and Scott Bourgeois (alto sax) ventured through the standard 3 Now 4 fare of Singleton compositions and improvised connective material. The music flowed continually, with new songs entering and exiting, some more subtlely than others. The band would shift and turn in perfect harmony. The communication seemed easy and natural between the musicians. Scott and Tim had a wonderfully complimentary flow happening between them, and Easley provided the masterful bed of colors and textures that is his trademark. Johnny V provided the propulsion and fire that we have come to expect from him, and James drove with his bass from his place in the middle of the stage. James has continued to develop his use of effects and loops to great musical success. Last night his electronics always seemed to serve the music in an organic way.
It is still a surreal experience to drive through the streets of New Orleans, but it was emotionally and spiritually fulfilling to hear 3 Now 5 last night.