The gypsy jazz group GAUCHO is flexible — it is often a trio of guitarist / composer / singer Dave Ricketts, string bassist Ari Munkres, and accordionist / pianist Rob Reich. Then it can expand to a sextet, with guitarist Michael Groh, reedman Ralph Carney, and percussionist Elizabeth Goodfellow — or other permutations I haven’t yet witnessed.
On Sunday, June 9, the trio of Ricketts, Munkres, and Reich shared the stage with Tamar Korn, Gordon Au, Dennis Lichtman, and Jared Engel at Brenda’s, an estimable “French soul food restaurant” in San Francisco: 652 Polk Street (at Eddy). Brenda’s deserves applause not only because GAUCHO has a regular Sunday afternoon-into-night gig there, but because its “French soul food” translates as their version of New Orleans food in substantial well-seasoned portions. (My muffaletta hero came with a small dish of spicy watermelon rind pickle — five stars’ plus — and all around me people were happily devouring their food. And Brenda’s blog even provides the recipe for the pickles!)
Here are two performances by GAUCHO from that night. I would have stayed for more, but we had a recording session to go to — the results of which, I hope, will emerge sooner rather than later.
DOUBLE BARREL, Dave’s composition — using the KING OF THE ZULUS vamp as a starting point — rocks:
SHINE, the old favorite:
Come to Brenda’s on a Sunday (5-8) for hot food and hotter jazz. And to keep up with GAUCHO, click here.
May your happiness increase!