REVIEW ON " THE MANY FACES OF BRANDINO by Mike Smith a NYC percussionist

This is a review of a Jazz Group I went to see last night at Mambo's Cafe in Glendale. I was not asked or paid to do this by anyone; in fact Brandino won't know until he sees this.

I am doing it because when u c and hear music being performed at a certain level that is not seen very often, especially Jazz, which is one of the most complex styles to play; it deserves attention & praise.

First things first...The Band: Kevin Brandon "Brandino"-Bass/Leader

Oscar Seaton-Drums, Andy Langham-Keys, Keith Fiddmont-Saxes.

Now, most people are familiar with the song 'Summertime'...well I have never heard it played the way I did last night! And, I have played this song hundreds of times. It was Jazzy, Groovy, some parts were driving yet well controlled and a nice moderate tempo. The parallel/harmonic lines between the Sax & Keys, while the bass & drums hold down the groove...just spectacular. The "solos"...well u gotta go & c for yourself, u will not b disappointed.

'The Beginning Of The End'...Kevin begins with the bass line & if u r not paying attention, the opening of this song might throw u & it will take several seconds or so to hear the time.

I won't give everything away by commented on the other songs, u will have to witness for yourself & as I've stated already...u won't b disappointed.

Anyone who has seen Oscar play...knows...the man is in a zone! It's almost as if he's in this invisible bubble that has holes in it where he can hear the music & add his unique style of playing to support the song. He looks up, down, sideways within his bubble & its as if he's getting his inspiration & direct line of communication from God himself. Always supporting the music, yet naturally shining.

Kevin...what can I say...anyone who has seen him knows just how gifted/talented & humorous this man is. We go back a long way. 

I remember us working together at Marla's Memory Lane Club owned by Marla Gibbs, actress who was on TV Sitcom The Jefferson's.

We were working with Bernard Ighner who wrote & sang 'Everything Must Change'. Kevin was playing Electric Bass, sitting in a chair. He would lean so far to the left & right, I just knew one night he was gonna fall. I contemplated getting gymnastic mats to place on either side of him on the floor; but he never fell! Bernard just loved Kevin's feel too.

I included this because when Kevin plays...his body, heart & soul goes into the music, whether it's his own or someone else's. U can always rely on Kevin to bring it. He's walkin' talkin' notes of music.

Andy & Keith just bring up the rear in this band...fine musicians. Great band, beautiful array of songs & arrangements.

Collectively, this is a must see group...go see BRANDINO!

Mike Smith a NYC percussionist wrote this !!