ROBERT MILLER’s PGS SWINGS AT ROCKWOOD 2 — Last August, Robert Miller’s terrific rock/jazz ensemble Project Grand Slam had a CD release party at Rockwood 2 for their Queen’s Carnival album; Monday night, they did a repeat for their just-out CD The PGS Experience, and gave a performance the likes of which, was not only their best yet, but just reverberated inside the small confines of the club. To a packed room of industry folk, they unleashed most of their new album as well as some re-imagined covers, like The Kinks “You Really Got Me”; Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire”; and their brilliant cover of Phish’s “Free.”
The band was just on fire this night, with guitarist Flavio Silva just impossibly brilliant. The other guitarist, Tony Greco, was equally as impressive, and percussionist Carlos Maldonado, who was actually set up in the audience area, was terrific as well and vocalist Ziarra Washington, nuanced and perfect. Sax-man Mario Castro was point-perfect too.
Miller’s playing, which still reminds this writer of the late-great Jack Bruce, was propulsive and drove the whole band steadily.
The new album contains the track “Fishin’” with jazz-darling Mindi Abair on it and the track has become a much played one via Jazz Radio. It’s a great song and Abair’s precision sax-notes are just spot on.
A great night. Seen in the crowd were: Adam Pollack and Vinny Rich from CEN/SONG; Pop Entertainment’s Brad Balfour; and, the PGS pr-team of Gwen Toline and David Salidor. Check out their new album, it’s terrific!