It was one of those nights…seeing a great band playing in a great venue with a great friend. My buddy Tony -the premier jazz aficionado I know-and I made our way to Jazz Standard to see Omar Hakim’s new trio, The Trio Of Oz. Featuring Omar-who has played with Weather Report, Sting, Miles Davis and David Bowie (to name but a few)-and pianist Rachel Z-whose has worked with such heavy-weights herself like Wayne Shorter and Peter Gabriel-the acoustic based jazz band blistered through a tight hour set on the comfortable Jazz Standard stage. Routing around and through tunes by Stone Temple Pilots, Hakim’s old band mate Sting (the trio’s “King Of Pain” featuring Z on some opening undulant piano stylings), Oz seems to be about visiting mostly modern pop-rock stuff and giving it their own unique spin….their take on Coldplay’s “Lost” was a true highlight of the night.
The trio is enjoying some success on jazz radio and Mr. H. assured us if there is support for the band to return they will. He and Z seemed especially appreciative of the crowd and upright bassist Solomon Dorsey should not to be overlooked for his truly soulful playing, keeping the proceedings together by providing Hakim with the solid bottom with which to roll. His soloing during The Smith’s “There is a Light” was another highlight of the night.