Red & Black Café - May 25, 2006
Andrew Oliver NW Continuum
Andrew Oliver - Keyboard, Composer
Mary-Sue Tobin, - Alto and Soprano Saxophones
John Nastos, - Saxophones, Clarinet, Flute
Dan Duval - Guitar
Eric Gruber - Bass
Tyson Michael Stubelek - Drums
Andrew Oliver is a young, energetic remarkably talented musician. Since returning to Portland from New Orleans, after attending Loyola University from '02-‘05, he leads and plays in several groups, performed in the band for his high school's play, and made a CD. All this, while continuing his studies at PSU.
Tonight he's gathered together a group including local musicians Mary-Sue Tobin, Eric Gruber and Dan Duval, and returning-for-the-summer students, John Nastos, home from two years at the Manhattan School of Music, and PSU graduate Tyson Michael Stubelek, who's pursuing his masters at the New England Conservatory.
Andrew is an engaging leader, affable and self-deprecating. They open with one of his compositions, Is This a Pay Phone? Andrew delights us with a swinging solo, Mary-Sue's soprano sax is mellow and breezy. Bancha Deluxe, another one of Andrew's compositions, opens with unison lines between sax and guitar. Dan is featured nicely on guitar and John's tone is warm on alto sax. Eric is innovative on bass, and Tyson provides support with a light touch on drums. They all come together to a pretty conclusion. Next, Andrew announces this is John Nastos' composition, saying, "It's so new it doesn't have a name!" It's lively, with John and Tyson driving the rhythm. John solos, then Dan, supported by a strong rhythm section, arriving at a melodious end. Another one of Andrew's compositions is Szecz, meaning six in Polish, and has a rollicking beginning with Andrew taking a long solo, followed by Mary-Sue on soprano, and then John on alto. Dan sounds Frisell-like, and Tyson creates a cacophony on drums. Andrew's tune La Fille Rousse is sweet and suggests a waltz. Una Muy Bonita, an Ornette Coleman tune, opens with Eric on bass, with the saxes joining in and playing in unison. Tyson's syncopated rhythm and John's funky sax had people bouncing in their seats.
Andrew's CD, Standing Still Mountain, was produced from his collaboration with Colin Williams and Kevin Dewan, whom he performed with in New Orleans. Joining them on the CD are Mary Sue Tobin, John Nastos, Levis Dragulin and Gus Slayton. Leaky Shack Blues is my favorite tune on the CD because it shows off Andrew's phenomenal ability. Contact Andrew at email@example.com.
The Red & Black is a comfortable neighborhood spot, with a few couches and overstuffed chairs, a long bench down one wall and heavy wood tables and chairs. The walls are turquoise and the ceiling is royal blue, while the stage is pale orange. It's on a corner and has tall windows, allowing in a lot of light. You get the feeling it's a place to hang out, with its bookshelves, plants, and lamps. They have good food and lots of drink options. The Red & Black is located at 2138 SE Division, at the corner of 22nd. 503-231-3899.
Andrew Oliver's NWC will be at the Blue Monk, June 15th and July 29th.