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The Goodfoot Lounge - Thursday, May 25, 2006
Devin Phillips & the New Orleans Funk Project



Devin Phillips - Saxophones
Mark DiFlorio - Drums
Ramsey Embick - Keyboard
Al Criado - Electric Bass

Walking through the long, tunnel-like entryway of The Goodfoot Lounge fills me with anticipation, knowing I'm going to have a good time. I'm here to see Devin Phillips & the New Orleans Funk Project. Devin says he likes the Goodfoot because it has the feel of a New Orleans club. It has low ceilings and a comfortable, funky vibe. It's not a jazz club, although I've heard several types of jazz there--Soul, Django style, Afro-Cuban. Once inside you'll be greeted with the glow of candle light, with a bar on one side and a smoking area on the other. Past that is an open, welcoming space, with tables and upholstered booths, loosely placed along two walls, facing the band. You can arrive early and claim a table, but once Devin's Funk Project starts, you'll most likely want to get up and dance. Or just listen and have fun watching. There are usually a lot of young people there and they're tolerant of, and even friendly to, those of us who are middle aged and beyond.

Devin plays tenor and soprano saxophones, with his New Orleans band mate, the dynamic Mark DiFlorio, on drums. Ramsey Embick performs his usual pyrotechnics on keys and Al Criado masterfully keeps the bassline thumping. You can expect all kinds of funky, soulful, inspired music; from the Headhunters, Meters, Curtis Mayfield and others. On this night they open with the gorgeous Spanish Joint, written by D'Angelo and Roy Hargrove. Chameleon is done in hyper-speed and Watermelon Man is laid back and way cool. On Sly, another Headhunter's tune, Ramsey channels Herbie Hancock. I adore the sweet Ballad of Chet Kincaid by Quincy Jones, which Devin plays in his Straight Ahead group, as well. Devin surprises and delights us with an occasional quote from Nature Boy and My Favorite Things. Devin reaches deep, playing remarkably long, powerful solos that take your breath away. Farnell Newton sat in on a few tunes, treating us to his sterling tone on trumpet. This is a night, and the place, to leave your cares at the door.

The Goodfoot Pub & Lounge is at 2845 SE Stark. 503-239-9292. The upstairs pub serves food, and the music venue is in the street level lounge. There's a small smoking area and the rest of the club is non-smoking. Devin's Funk Project will be there again Thursday, June 8, 2006, Doors 9:00 pm, music 10:00 pm. $5 cover.


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