Caught Dr. Lonnie Smith appearing at the VENU Resto Club and Lounge on St. Paul in Rochester, part of the Exodus to Jazz series. As he was before at the Rochester International Jazz Festival last year, the "beturbaned" Doctor was the funky Glenn Gould of the Hammond B3 organ, humming along as he played. Appearing with guitarist Mel Henderson and drummer Yoron Israel (who had the last Exodus to Jazz performanace) on drums, the good Doctor played mostly material from his newest album Jungle Soul on Palmetto Records. Forgot the camera again, so the impressionistic picture above will have to do [Added February 24, 2007: Well, thanks to Petra Henderson, we now have some less "impressionistic" images from the gig added at the bottom of the post]:
Met Jose DaCosta, the promoter for Exodus to Jazz. He is trying real hard to bring a quality live music experience to Rochester, which should be supported. Another great thing about the show was how diverse the crowd of about 100 was. I am always heartened when that occurs.
The venue is well-suited to seeing live music. A separate room, downstairs from the bar that you see at street level. The stage is ample and the sound was pretty good for a smallish space. There were about 100 souls in all. There is food available, but unlike the former Montage Grill, they've got it right. While you can get food (and it was quite good), it doesn't get in the way of the experience of hearing the music.