August, 2007

    Present Tense
    La Va Lee
    Studio City

Contact: Richard Frank, 818-427-5500:


The Players: Chad Edwards, keyboards; Carlyle Barriteau, guitar, vocals; Richard Frank, acoustic bass; Tony White, sax, flute; Ronnie Kaufman, drums.

Material: Present Tense presents smooth jazz, highlighted by incredible sax and keyboard work. Guitars harmonize over a seamless platform of drums and stand-up bass. The way the songs softly and easily segue into each other makes it seem as if each tune is a movement in a much larger symphony.
                        Photo by: Linda Emme
                        Present Tense: Refreshing smooth jazz
                        performed effortlessly with outstanding

Musicianship: Each musician in this group can stand on his own, and all are allowed to shine singularly. In fact, each instrument is so much a part of the total sound that without any one piece it would change significantly. Kaufman’s drums and Frank’s bass lay the ultimate foundation for the featured sounds of Edwards, White, and Barriteau. Adding to the band’s virtuosity, Kaufman performs as an incredible drum solo to close out the set.

Performance: The set started with a conglomeration of sounds that meshed into the opening number featuring sax and keyboards alternately, followed by a keyboard solo that build back into a sax solo. Present Tense performed an incredible cover of Aerosmith’s “Dream On,” which segued into the band’s only vocal song, a stirring cover of “I’ll Be Around,” featuring the rich voice of Barriteau. The band members spoke little, but their music spoke volumes, as it filled the venue with a richness that exceeded the entrees being served by the chef.

Summary: Present Tense’s brand of jazz is very relaxing, best enjoyed any time you want to forget about the troubles of this world. When they play, you can just sit back and enjoy the energy as your senses take a much-needed vacation. Watch for these guys to make a serious move on the local jazz market.

--Bob Leggett