December 9, 2012

Review: Krieger's Jazz Kitchen lights up Port City Music Hall

By STEVE FEENEY

No special alarms were sounded on Saturday night in Portland, even though a man well known for trying "to set the night on fire" was in town.

click image to enlarge

Robby Krieger, who was a guitarist for The Doors, performs with Robby Krieger’s Jazz Kitchen at Port City Music Hall on Saturday.

Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer

CONCERT REVIEW

Robby Krieger's Jazz Kitchen

WHERE: Port City Music Hall, Portland

DATE REVIEWED: Saturday, Dec. 8

Robby Krieger, guitarist with the legendary rock band The Doors and composer of their huge hit "Light My Fire," brought his Jazz Kitchen quintet to the stage of the Port City Music Hall.

Enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of that famous L.A. band, Krieger was always interested in a broad range of musical sounds. He contributed to many of the extended improvisations, rooted in jazz and world music, that helped solidify The Doors' reputation. After singer Jim Morrison's death essentially brought the band to an end, Krieger continued working on his idea of a "fusion" of styles.

Krieger's Jazz Kitchen is full of musical journeymen who obviously love to play and have fun while they're doing it. They did all that before a small but enthusiastic crowd on Saturday night.

A Frank Zappa connection was immediately evident as three members of the band had played with the late band leader at one time or another. Perhaps in recognition of that connection, the band led off with Zappa's tune called "Chunga's Revenge," an exotic piece that builds to some rather heavy crescendos as the musical beast rumbles on.

The band, featuring Arthur Barrow on bass and vocals, Tommy Mars on keyboards and vocals, Larry Klimas on sax and flute, Chad Wackerman on drums, and the leader on his trusty Gibson SG guitar, then undertook a quick collective improvisation that loosened up the ears of all before they moved into a number of original tunes sharing a tendency toward funk rhythms.

Krieger employed some electronics to flavor such tunes as "What Was That" and "Let It Slide."  His guitar work was fast and strong throughout.

A Tony Williams tune called "Snake Oil" got audience heads bobbing to the beat while Mars complicated things nicely with some effective smears of sound on the order. Mars later worked some scat and whistling around his vocal on "Screen Junkies," a warning to electronic device fanatics to "pay attention" when they drive. Barrow added an appropriately funny vocal to a bluesy "Cosmik Debris," another Zappa tune.

A tribute to Miles Davis called "Russian Caravan" joined flowing excursions with a hard-walking bass line in the middle, all in the service of a soaring theme.

Though the 66-year-old Krieger did reminisce briefly about living in Laurel Canyon in the 1960s with rock stars all around, it was clear that he's carrying forward the joy of playing he discovered in those long ago days.

Steve Feeney is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)


 

Blogs

More PPH Blogs