(Courtesy of the artist)
Friday, Manhattan Transfer opened a three-night stand to a packed house at the Triple Door and while they were down a man — Tim Hauser’s out, having back surgery — Trist Curless, whom you may remember from the group m-pact, which got its start in Seattle — did a stellar job filling in.
From the sizzling quartet’s first “Ooo-bop!” on “Tuxedo Junction,” I was reminded that despite a kneejerk aversion to the glitz of this group, the luxuriousness of its shimmering blend and its crisp delivery of scat solos are hard to resist. So why try?
It was pretty much a “greatest hits” night, from “The Duke of Dubuque,” featuring Curless on an athletic bass scat solo, and the retro-swing of “Java Jive” to a stunningly fast “Air Mail Special” (complete with Charlie Christian solo), Bird’s “Billie’s Bounce” and the megahit “Birdland.”