Sarasota is a music town, with tunes wafting over from almost every beach bar, restaurant, and shopping street. And yet, it's still possible to be surprised by a new sound in the Sarasota live music scene.
Last Tuesday, strolling through the 4-week-old "Afternoon Market at The Boatyard Village" (5 - 8:30PM), just over the Stickney Point Bridge from Siesta Key, we paused to admire the very hot cool jazz of Three Piece Suit Engineered. As it happened, this new weekly market venue provided the debut stage for the first public gig of a three piece jazz band that includes its engineer in the official lineup.
They call their music "gospel jazz fusion". I call it "very hot cool jazz". Whatever you call it, it showcases the individual talent and group solidarity of musicians who have been playing and studying music since childhood, have each performed for years with various nationally known acts, and discovered that playing together here in Sarasota is the best possible "fusion" of their gifts.
All the music is original, and the musicianship is very very tight. Gary Lidge calls himself a "keyboard stylist"-- he's both composer and performer of mood-inflected inspired trips over the ivories. Bassist Thomas Presha, drummer Kevin Snelling, and audio tech Carlos Farias bring tone, rhythm and seamless sound blending to the mix. Standing in the parking lot of The Boatyard Village, with the hum of shoppers and vendors all around, it was hard to believe that this was 3 Piece Suit's first outside show. They sounded like they've been doin' it for years, and with this quality they surely will be.