I had the privilege of seeing The Mike Bono Group play the Regatta Bar in Harvard Square on October 15th. They just released their debut album, From Where You Are, last month.
Mike, a recent graduate from the Berklee College of Music, brought together five other dazzlingly talented musicians to help him spread his music to the world, joining his masterful guitar-playing with a tenor saxophonist, pianist, bassist, cellist and drummer. Together, Mike & Co. brought to the stage a calming swagger that can only be described as the aura that jazz musicians naturally exude when in the spotlight.
Throughout the entire show, the band played with precision and confidence. The bond between these six men could not only be heard but also seen. It was the first time I’d heard Mike’s original compositions, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. His articulation and phrasing have always been impressive, but this concert took my view of him to another level.
These cats are the real deal. I recommend checking out their album, or dropping in to see a show, even if you don’t listen to jazz. If you do consider yourself a jazz connoisseur, you must see them live as soon as possible. I’m not much of a jazz musician anymore, but I came out of that Mike Bono Group show a changed woman. Give at least the album a listen and try not to be inspired. (Warning: You will fail.)