Live review | Jolley Brothers push boundaries at Adams Morgan festival 9.12.10

Noble Jolley takes a solo at the Adams Morgan Day Festival's jazz stage.

by Giovanni Russonello
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Jolley Brothers
Adams Morgan Day Festival
Sun., Sep. 12, 2010

The Jolley Brothers closed out a full afternoon of music at the Adams Morgan Day Festival’s jazz stage with a throbbing set that pushed boundaries without getting bogged down under the weight of its own innovation.

With Noble Jolley on electric keyboard, Nate Jolley on drums and Blake Meister on bass, yesterday’s 6 p.m. performance featured a collection of original pieces that never lingered for more than a moment on traditional ideas, but nevertheless cut to the essence of jazz’s intuitive tradition. The opening tune, Noble’s original “Circle of Trust,” was an achievement: a syncopated journey in 7/4 time that had listeners uncontrollably bobbing their heads despite its rhythmic sophistication.

On another of his compositions, “Parisian Fantasy,” Noble took a solo that sounded as if Herbie Hancock had just gone to church, roaming the keyboard in smooth but sometimes biting runs. And “Thanks for the Music,” written by Nate, featured a guest performance by the remarkable vocalist Christie Dashiell, who offered an adventurous scat solo. On that tune, Noble tore up the beat’s R&B-esque underpinnings during his solo, living in the rhythmic countercurrents while pushing Nate into a propulsive swing.

All told, this was a brilliantly played and well-received capstone to a full day of jazz. What’s more, the Jolley Brothers, like all the jazz musicians performing at the festival, had volunteered their time in order to bring the city’s residents some outstanding music.

Word has it that the Jolleys have recorded an album, which should be out next month. Keep an eye on CapitalBop and/or on natejolley.com for updates — we can’t wait.

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