The Rob Alley Trio Concert Review

Trumpet and Effects: Rob Alley String Bass: Derek Doyle

Drums: Craig Collison

Before the show, it was really heart warming to see a High Schooler came up to Craig (the drummer) and asked for advice. He promptly pulled out a piece of paper and began making notes for him. The connection was real and immediate.

With a laptop on the table, they rolled through their sound check getting ready to record the night.

Find more photos like this on Project: Shadow HQ The first song swelled with a rocking soft drum, the plaintive cry of the trumpet, and the subtle back and forth of the drum. The strong presence of the bass made me feel like the room should be full of smoke, and people snapping their fingers to the beat.Effortlessly, they floated from song to song. The echoing sound of the trumpet filling the air like a old singer in search of himself, contrasted against the hard breaks of the drum. Tension fills the room, only to be released by the blair of the trumpet.

The full house applauded and cheered.

There wasn't an empty seat in the house. At each table, the people sat, enthralled by the band. The Tortugas, lattes, beers, and wine flowed from the bar, as the chef prepared his magical dishes.

The spicy smell of the food melded with the rich, deep melodies of the Rob Alley Trio.

A little latter, a fourth, Corey Emerson (Assistant Band Director from Poplar Bluff High), joined them on Trombone.

It may be cliche to say that the band was electric on the stage, but when the wahwah kicked in, the energy of the room changed. The surreal wah of the trumpet reverberated throughout. You couldn't help but bop along to the tune. The music took over. It ruled the night.

Somehow, they stepped up the energy and the tempo, but never crossed the line into funk. Each member soloed in turn. The room erupted with applause at each transition.

I almost fell out of my seat when they started their jazz cover of "Smells like Teen Spirit." The vocals covered by the trumpet, the guitar split between the bass and trumpet, and Dave Grohl would be proud of the drum work. That was actually a surprise. I don't know if I would have believed it if I hadn't heard it.

All in all a magical night. It is hard to explain the presence of the music and the enthrallment of the audience. If you ever get a chance to see the Rob Alley Trio, don't miss it. You won't be disappointed.

I am came out, not knowing what to expect. I am not a huge fan of Jazz. I like Wounded Buffalo Theory, if they count, but I am a convert. This is not the Cosby jazz that I learned about through my light pop culture exposure to the genre. As a fan of the blues, I find most Jazz inaccessible, but I now feel that I was never given a proper introduction to the genre. I am going to have to set up a Pandora station with their influences as the seeds and give the art form a second look. That is the best kind of show: the one that expands your horizons and makes you want to try something new. For that, I am thankful to the Rob Alley Trio for the show, and to the Wine Rack/Java Stop for encouraging me to come out and test my limits.

Check out the Rob Alley Trio at their MySpace.

Transformers Rocks!

Just got back from watching the new live-action Transformers flick.  OMG, it was better than I could have imagined. We got to the theater minutes before the film started.  The lights dimmed shortly after we took our seats.  The previews started and... the film burned through!  It actually burned through, ripped, and the lights went up.  The horrid commercial slide show started up again and we had to wait...  after about five minutes, they switched the reels up and the films preroll trailers began.

The movie opens with Optimus Prime explaining the origin of the Allspark, and the fate of Cybertron.

The pace was fast and furious from the destruction of a US air base in Katar, and the search for answers.  Amazingly for a modern film, there was only one reference to how the events were like something out of a comic book.  Other than that, the story was treated seriously, as a proper action film.  The intensity of the opening was continued into the events that followed, with the exception of a brief interspersion of comedic scenes to introduce Sam Witwicky and his family history that connected him to the Allspark.

The FX are amazing.  ILM out did themselves in the quality and integration of the titanic robots into their real world setting.  The only scene that felt CG was when Optimus and the other autobots were talking under a bridge.  A brief interruption of an otherwise seamless film.

I cannot imagine the work ILM put into the last 45 minutes of the films.  A nearly constant series of fight scenes through the city.  Devestator and Starscream were amazing.  Megatron's menacing appearance and voice made me wince as he spoke.

Ironhide, Jazz, Bumblebee, and Ratchet were very well played.  I particularly liked the update of Jazz into a more urban character.

DO NOT LEAVE TOO SOON, there are some further scenes cut into the credits.

A great movie that will blow you away.  I highly recommend it.  I cannot wait to own it.  I really want to see it again.