Friday, March 2
In a genre where the tenor saxophone reigns as king, it`s always refreshing to hear a gifted and skillful alto saxophonist ready to swing the joint to the ground. DC`s actually got no shortage of alto players with those powers...but that doesn`t make Marshall Keys any less of a joy to hear. Keys, a District native who`s been working the scene for over 25 years, plays with the with the stone-hard muscle you might associate with the tenor sax, but with the alto`s characteristic upper-range cream. That`s the basics; along with it comes a metric ton of riffage, melody as sharp as a blade, and a thrusting sense of swing that he applies in a largely bop- and blues-based setting.
The music that comes out of it is electric and infectious—before you know it you`ll find yourself shouting with approval. Marshall Keys and his band (including drummer Mark Prince) perform at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. at Bohemian Caverns, 2001 11th Street NW. $18