Eli Degibri : Tenor & Soprano Saxophones
Gary Versace : Hammond B-3 Organ
Obed Calvaire : Drums
* Scheduled to be re-released under Degibri Records
Live at Louis 649 Track list1. NY-TLV-NY
2. Every Time We Say Goodbye
5. I Fall in Love Too Easily
7. Colin's Dream
Live at Louis 649 Liner Notes by Eli DegibriA few years ago a good friend of mine told me about a cool little jazz club that was new in town. He told me how much he liked it and said that I should really consider playing there. The place was called Louis 649 and it was (still is) located in the “far east" of Manhattan. He was right—it WAS very cool and cozy (some might say tiny!) but had only one fault—a bad piano. Usually this wouldn’t be a problem for me, since I’ve always liked to play in a traditional trio setting with just bass and drums, but this time I felt like having some harmonic support. I also wanted to try something I’ve never experimented with before. I was on a mission to find an organ player…
It is interesting how great relationships start, how great conversations begin. It is marvelous to look at two people and watch them fall in love with each other. One of the greatest things about music is its emotional promiscuity––you can watch more than two people fall in love with each other simultaneously. We call this chemistry.
As a bandleader, trying to match different musicians together is like conducting a chemistry experiment or watching a National Geographic show about penguin breeding; you witness musicians getting to know each other for the first time on stage, “sniffing" each other, making conversation, trying to impress each other, win each other’s hearts and hopefully even climax together.
I’ve always asked myself why it is usually more enjoyable to do fun things in the company of other people rather than alone. Watching a movie for instance—we don’t really need anyone next to us in order to better enjoy or understand the movie, yet it is much more joyful to experience the great scenes together: we laugh harder, we cry harder (if we’re not shy) and we are scared harder.
Playing the saxophone as opposed to the bass or drums, I have the privilege of being on two sides of the show. I can be both the performer and the listener; flirting with the audience, watching its reaction to the music at one moment and then becoming a part of it, experiencing the music on the other. I remember our first gig together. I remember the moment I finished playing the melody to the first song. I sat back, contemplating how great it felt to play this simple melody. Then I watched Obed and Gary having their first musical conversation, not knowing what hit them, realizing that whatever they are doing feels really, really good.
Less then a year ago, I had a birthday gig with the trio at Louis (it was a good excuse to have all my friends listen to this band). And a funny thing happened: all of them, and I mean ALL OF THEM, came up to me afterwards saying one thing only: “this band has to be recorded." It was a mutual feeling and from that point on it was just a matter of time.
One of the greatest things about New York City: there is so much talent in so many people who are willing to be a part of anything they can relate to.
Making this idea a reality could not have been easier. Figuring out where to record was one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made. There was nothing to think about—It was obvious that we should record live and that we should do it at Louis, where this trio came to life.
Eli Degibri, March 2008