I was only there to see Ghost Note perform because I knew that Mono Neon was playing bass for them and the last time I saw Mono live was 2 years ago in LA where he guest on a show for a bit. This was different, Mono was part of this band and I was looking forward to his return to LA for a great show.
The concert was at Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles. A cool concert spot that has it's own cafe where you can lounge and usually hear the blaring of the bands playing in the main room. I decided to hang out there until showtime for Ghost Note. The band Philthy was up first. Never heard of them before, so I didn't bother to go watch them play, I figured after a couple of hours of ax throwing in North Hollywood (a story for another blog lol), I would chill before anything. Sitting there sipping on some cool water, I heard the sounds coming from the main room. Very funky, upbeat and "horn-filled" sounds...reminded me of Prince and his horn section, NPG Horns. I thought nothing of it until several songs in and thought maybe I should check this band out. Moving into the main room, the sounds of a 15 piece band was tearing up the stage! WOW!! Almost like a parliament funkadelic experience, there was so much going on onstage. A full horn section, percussionist, back up singers, drummer, two guitarist, a bassist, and a voclist AND a front man on keys....I didn't recognize him but he picked up a horn at times and it seemed that was his first instrument. Little did I know, this cat was part of the NPG Horns in 2000's, Philip Lassiter. Played with Prince at a few memorable shows, especially Montreux Jazz Festival and the Arsenio Hall Show to name a few.
I was loving his stage presence with his band, the sounds was great and people were dancing. It seemed like a huge party on stage and we were just bystanders watching these cool cats mingle. Watching the performance was almost like watching a piece of Purple heaven at times....Prince would be proud of the energy and how he got people to participate in "soul claps" and chants. Philthy is a band to listen for...and I know for sure I won't miss a show next time they come to LA.
After the high energy performance of Philthy, I made my way close to the stage for Ghost Note. They had a solid amount of band members up on stage as well...an 8 piece band with some great creative sounds of hip hop, jazz and funk combined. They featured songs from their album Swagism. The band looked so relaxed and the music flowed like they were just jamming at home. Their sound is unique and funky and worth the listen, especially "Swagism", "Milkshake" and "Smack 'em" to name a few. You can watch almost every person in the main room just bob their head and move to the grooves.
At one point of the show, the drummer talked about the future of music and introduced a couple of young musicians that got an opportunity to jam with them. An 11 year old keyboardist, Justin-Lee Schultz took to the keys and just flowed almost nonstop. An 8 year old bassist Aron Hodek plugged into the speaker and funked up the bass standing next to Mono playing a guitar. Watching these kids jam with a full band and get into the groove quickly is so amazing. These kids are talented little geniuses that will just become unstoppable in their adult life. The drummer made a point to say that these kids are our future of music...they will go far.
Ida Nielsen came on stage as the band's special guest, walking on stage with her bass and shades...the band played along her song "Rock the Bass" from her newest album Time 2 Stop Worrying (Bout The Weird Stuff). I was disappointed with the sound quality at this time, because Ida's bass wasn't turned up as loud as it should be to hear her play. However, the band kept to her beat and supported her throughout the song.
Ghost Note gave a tremendous performance, showing their pure talent and allowing their creative juices flow. Their music isn't your average jazz your parents would be listening to, it's the kind of jazz, melted with some funk and sprinkled with some hip hop. I truly felt I was hanging out at one of the guy's houses watching a few friends jam on a Monday night just because they can.