On Saturday, February, 9, 2019, Orange County Musicians’ Local 7 hosted a beautiful jazz concert bringing master guitarist Ron Eschete’s Trio for a benefit performance to support a Musicians in Need Fund Raiser. There were at least fifty members and also jazz fans who showed up for this stellar performance.
Eschete brought superb bassist Bruce Lett and excellent drummer Kendall Kay on board for this show. This concert was also an extension of O.C. Jazz Bash Series.
Opening for the evening, was the Fullerton College Quartet performing several numbers before the start of the Eschete Trio. The group consisted of Oscar Rodriguez (guitar), Nico Vasquez (drums), Steven Wood, (saxophones) and Cole Sainburg (bass). This quartet gave a lively performance of all the jazz that they played. Their tunes were: “On Green Dolphin Street,” “Like Someone in Love,” and “Yes and No” by Wayne Shorter. These young players received a lot of applause for not only their good solos but for their cohesive playing as well.
Several executive board members of Local 7 were on hand to welcome many of those who attended. During the middle break of the Eschete performance, Vice President, Edmund Velasco, announced that a special day of this date would be remembered as Ron Eschete Day.
Terence M. Love, former longtime owner of Steamers Jazz Club, hosted and presented the Eschete Trio. Ron Eschete and Terence have been friends for a number of years. Terence lauded Eschete and his spectacular playing and mentioned the many amount of times he has performed at Steamers in previous years.
Ron Eschete started performing very early on guitar before even finishing high school. He had an early break working with singer Buddy Greco in Las Vegas. He moved to Los Angeles, CA and worked with Gene Harris and also Dave Pike and continued building his career upwards all the way from 1970 to present. He has played with Ray Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Jackson and Diana Krall to name a few of many.
For those of you who have never heard Ron Eschete, you will amazingly surprised. Eschete has his own very dignified sound. No one plays the guitar like Ron Eschete!
The Eschete trio started with a good swing number, “Lookin’ For The Back Door,” written by amazing composer, Alf Clausen. This tune was written originally for big band in swing format. Eschete reduced it down to play for his trio. Alf Clausen with (30) Emmy nominations has received more nominations than any other musician for his longtime movie and television scores. The trio made this tune move excitingly. The balance between Eschete guitar, Lett’s bass and Kay’s drumming was excellent. A pretty ballad followed, “Only Trust Your Heart.” Lett made a distinguished bass solo for this gem. Late, great pianist, Jimmy Rowles, created a superb classic called, “The Peacocks.” This tune seems never to be played enough and has a memorable melody that easily stands out. The audience gave some great appreciative applause for this classic.
Eschete took a break from his trio and played a solo medley of four songs, “Goodbye” (Gordon Jenkins), “This is all I Ask” (also Gordon Jenkins), “A Face Like Yours” (Victor Feldman) and “I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good” (Duke Ellington).
The Eschete trio resumed their show with a Blossum Dearie tune, “Sweet Georgia Fame.” Excellent trio work here again with great solos from Lett and Kay.
Finishing tunes for this longer one set show were: “Fungii Mama” (Blue Mitchell), with Kay playing a vibrant drum solo and doing exceptional cymbal work. Continuing with Herbie Hancock’s “Driftin’,” Chick Corea’s “Humpty Dumpy,” and “You Make Me Feel So Young,” (by Josef Myrow, arr. by Gene Harris).
This concert was so good and the audience gave them all a standing ovation! It would be great, in my opinion, to see this same trio of outstanding musicians recorded in a future CD sometime coming soon.
Please be sure to visit Ron Eschete’s website for much of his current musical activities and gigs: www.roneschete.com .
Glenn A. Mitchell