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 Thursday, 26 November 2015
LA Beat: Tony Guerrero Quartet at Steamers PDF Print
Written by Glenn A. Mitchell, LA Jazz Scene   
Thursday, 08 December 2011

Tony Guerrero Quartet( R.: Matt Johnson, Tony Guerrero, Dave Siebels and Rob Kyle) ęGlenn A. Mitchell

Trumpet/flugelhornist Tony Guerrero is an amazing performer and has had his quartet at Steamers for most of the 17 years of the club’s existence.  His group, once again, gave a very impressive performance on November 17th.  Star players Robert Kyle (tenor sax), Dave Siebels (Hammond B-3 organ), and Matt Johnson (drums and percussion) made this an ultimate musical cooking affair.  Their show moved at a wonderful pace throughout the entire evening, with leader Guerrero providing nice little stories and quite a bit of comedic levity when announcing all the numbers played.  These guys all play very well.  Their music is always in top form.  And the comedy is brilliant and an added attraction.   


They opened with a splendid rendition of “I’ve Never Been in Love Before,” all the guys sharing brilliant solos.  “Caribbean Cocktail” came next, a nice calypso.  The Guerrero quartet play many tunes from the Great American Songbook, as well as other interesting songs that relate to jazz, even expounding on some TV theme songs, plus some originals.  Guerrero introduced the band and also joked about why they were wearing suits-- said with all the money they were making that they would feel better about themselves wearing suits.  Later he (and Johnson) joked again, saying they had to borrow the suits for this evening from the funeral home where they worked part time!   

Continuing, they played what is a unique endeavor for them, the main theme from “Phantom of the Opera.”  They then played an original Guerrero named “The Boy from Altadena,” titled for their saxophonist Rob Kyle.  It was performed in bossa-nova flavor and with Guerrero leading the piece with his exemplary muted trumpet playing.  Siebels did a phenomenal job backing this and all other tunes, bringing out clear and exacting passages, chords, all-important basslines, and solo runs on his B-3 organ.  Drummer, Matt Johnson has been an important part of the Guerrero group for a lot of years.  They honored him with a neat little display of talents on bongos, in a little contest and competition drawn from various TV shows called the “Black Belt of Bongo Competition,” which wowed the audience at Steamers.    

A Shorty Rogers number, “Just A Few,” brought some groovy choruses from Guerrero’s flugelhorn and Kyle’s exceptional sax work.  Other tunes included some from Guerrero’s newer CD, Blue Room: “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “Moon River,” a medley from “West Side Story,” an original composition from Guerrero, “Dizzy Does It,” and, closing the second set, a longer version of “When You’re Smiling.”  This is the kind of show to go see again several times, to enjoy the mellow music and great comedy.  See Tony Guerrero’s website:


Reprinted with permission from L.A. Jazz Scene, December, 2011 issue                   

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