Reviews > Shows
Greyboy Allstars, Toad’s Place, New Haven, CT, 12/17/09
Fresh off of his Brother’s Keeper tour with his band Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, the lead singer and saxophone player wasted no time getting back on the road, now reuniting with his former outfit, the Greyboy Allstars. The west coast funk band played at Toad’s Place in mid-December as part of a Northeast tour.
GBA opened up with “Feel My Grip” and keyboardist Robert Walter delivered the first solo, introducing himself to the audience. His high-pitched notes engaged the crowd and eventually lead to a Denson sax solo.
The turning point in the show came during “Barefootin.” Denson and Walter carried the tune with call-and-response melodies. As the music increased in intensity, so did the crowd’s dancing. Fans grooved with the jazz-funk music getting out the last of its wintry shivers. Walter and Denson soloed for a while before guitarist Elgin Park chimed in with a solo of his own. Denson and Walter stood out from the rest of the band, but the ensemble remained tight.
The first highlight of the night came during a cover of “Lady Day & John Coltrane” by singer/poet Gil Scott Hereon. Walter’s keyboard filled the room with a droning sound as Park played a bluesy melody on his guitar to match the melancholy lyrics Denson sang. The song came around to the chorus, “You could call on Lady Day. You could call on John Coltrane. They’ll wash your troubles away. They’ll wash your troubles away.” Walter and Park then traded solos before Denson brought out his flute.
Other highlights included fan favorites “Hot Pants Breakdown,” “V-Neck Sweater” and “Left Coast Boogaloo” which all contained funky horn melodies. The band ended with “Toys Are Us,” a song off 2007’s A Town Called Earth.
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