Two members of Snarky Puppy, violinist Zach Brock and guitarist Bob Lanzetti, closed out a quick run of shows as a duo Sunday night, June 13, in Rochester at Lovin’ Cup.
Lovin’ Cup always boasts immaculate sound, and when the seats and tables are out, it provides a nice intimate setting. Both were welcome for the rich and beautiful music Brock and Lanzetti were laying down this night. Being a free show, a disengaged crowd might be expected. However, everyone in the room was completely rapt, respectful and there for no other reason than to squeeze out just a bit more of that sweet live music that has been so absent from the world for way too long.
Unlike their regular gig with Snarky Puppy, this music was less booty shaking and more ear tickling, less dance party more dinner party. Each a master of his instrument, together they could interweave enough complex notes to create swells of sound and also bring it down to simple taps and plucks. Brock would put away the bow to create rhythmic “bass” lines for Lanzetti to play a whirlwind solo over, and Lanzetti would likewise settle into a groove for Brock to take the violin to eclectic heights.
Their dynamic range wasn’t left to just how they played, but also what. The evenings program covered chamber music, jazz, world, Americana, blues and even some choice tributes. Many artists cover the great Gillian Welch, but few do so as an instrumental. They took her “Elvis Presley Blues” for a ride early in the first set, which proved to be a highlight. Brock’s violin conjured up all the emotion of Welch’s voice in such a way that the lyrics still pushed through. Later, on a tune dedicated to Steve Lacy, Brock summoned different tones from his instrument, resurrecting Lacy’s early adoption of the soprano sax as an improvisation vehicle.
Both musicians were open and friendly from the stage, telling stories and imparting musical knowledge that furthered the attentive audience’s enjoyment and created a connection between the two.
We’ve been missing Sunday shows for over 15 months. Those are the ones they say to never miss, right? There’s just no better way to finish or start a week. Zach Brock and Bob Lanzetti fit the bill, snark or not.
Photos by Izzy