Recently with the temperatures topping 90-100 degrees, most Angelenos were seeking some relief from the heat. That came in the form of Jazz Guitarist,Jacques Lesure
and his Quartet. The former Detroit native, now L.A. based musician, cooled off the audience with a great play list of originals and standards including a very soothing ,but swinging title track, “When She Smiles” from his current CD on WJ3 Records label.
The first set was kicked off with a Road Warrior of a composition, the great Wes Montgomery’s Road Song. The sun glasses and wine crowd was treated to some great playing by Lesure and his men. Especially on a golden composition by musician/composer, Eric Wyatt, “If Only I had Known” I was particularly impressed with Aaron Provisor’s sublime piano solo on this composition along with Revis‘s bass playing. Jacques had everyone up and on their feet with Kenny Burrell’s dusty gem of a Boogaloo back-beat jam called “Chitlins Con Carne” for a first-set closer. That’s when Jacques really displayed his Motown- roots and had his guitar “talkin' that talk.”
The quartet consisted of pianist, Aaron Provisor,with drums by Iahaji Hampden and bassist Eric Revis. There were smatterings of old and young people dancing near-by to the melodious music being performed. Lesure have in a very quiet way established himself, not only as one of the great ones to watch here in Los Angeles , but on the East Coast as well. This has been attributed to his bi-coastal travel and sideman activities with established Right-Coast groups.
I've followed Jacques career pretty closely since the late 90s when he co-led a group in Atlanta called The Swing Association or TSA for short. a group of well educated musicians steeped in Meat & Potatoes Jazz. In other words, definitely swinging and bluesy with Swag! One can only hope that, there are more groups like the Jacques Lesure Quartet on the way to rescue L.A. from itself. which is.. well, sometimes they fall victim to fads and Fru-Fru when it comes to real jazz under the guise, that “Its what sells”. Thank God for Art patrons who fund these Music programs, so the county of Los Angeles can put them out to the public for Free. Also, few musicians get to eat and pay a bill or two. The next time you’re in Los Angeles or, will be traveling in, check out the website of Jacques Lesure.