Not much beats a summer afternoon at the park with friends, family, good food and live music. The city of Roswell provided the venue and music by The Bonaventure Quartet at this month’s installment of Roswell Riverside Sounds. Most of the music fans brought their own food and drinks to enjoy but many decided to enjoy some gumbo, shrimp etoufee and shrimp poboy’s from the Louisiana Purchase food truck.
The main course for the evening was of course live music. The many music fans that lined Riverside Park with blankets and chairs got to enjoy original music both old and new from The Bonaventure Quartet. The Bonaventure Quartet’s music may be described as gypsy jazz. Originating in France during the 1930s and 1940s this jazz style does indeed make one dream of nights under the European skies. The Bonaventure Quartet’s music fit in well on this early summer night and several couples were drawn to the stage to dance arm in arm.
This Atlanta based band was originally a four-piece quartet, but kept growing until they became what they refer to as a Double Quartet. The band performed many of the songs from their latest release, Lost and Found at the Clermont Lounge as well as songs from The Secret Seduction of the Grand Pompadour, Blue Rendezvous, and Songs from Trattoria La Cellina (which was recorded live at Eddie’s Attic)
The songs from Lost and Found at the Clermont Loungeis make up the score for a theatrical production, which was scripted and composed by Williams and his wife, Lynne Dale. The score tales the tale of a woman from Macon who moves to Atlanta with dreams of becoming an artist but ends up dancing at the Clermont Lounge (a notorious Atlanta strip club).
Interview with The Bonaventure Quartet
Amy Pike (vocals), Charles Williams (guitar), Dan Coy (guitar), Don Erdman (clarinet and sax), Marla Feeney (violin, sax), Mark Bynum (bass), Joel Morris (drums and percussion) and Ken Gregory (trumpet and trombone).
What was the first album that you added to your music library?
[Amy] My first LP was John Denver’s “Back Home Again”. I was 10. I also had asked for a record player along with it for Christmas. Unfortunately Santa brought me a “Close ‘n Play” record player. You had to close the lid to play a record as the needle was actually attached to the lid. The problem is that it was only meant for 45’s and you could not fit an LP in it. My poor dad spent christmas morning at Sears trying to get it exchanged. Coincidentally a few years later I took a guitar class where the teacher taught us songs from that album so those were also my first songs on an instrument.
[Charles]Tommy by the Who. It was so cool. I loved vinyl, the booklet, reading the lyrics. I still remember I’m Free and Pinball Wizard fascinating me and the whole story of the deaf, dumb and blind kid.
[Dan] Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced
What was your most recent addition to your music library?
[Amy] In complete contrast most recently I have bought a single via internet download of G Dragon and Taeyang’s “Good Boy”. Korean pop/dance/hip hop.
[Charles] Claroscuro by the Gonzalo Bergara Quartet. And something by Bill Evans. Does poetry count? Poetry is music. sort of. I just heard a great definition of poetry: “Poetry is a language against which we have no defense.”
[Dan] Spotify Premium, mostly gypsy swing and jazz musette.
What was your first live music experience? Which venue and which artist(s)?
[Amy] I was raised by artist/hippie types so my earliest live music experiences were in living rooms or at the art fairs that my dad, a potter, participated in. In my teens I got interested in Punk Rock and so that was a DIY situation as well. MY friends and I all had bands. The first artist I really remember seeing at a club was Iggy Pop. There may have been others before that but as you can imagine that one really stuck with me.
[Charles] Hmmmmm, probably some symphonic program? Mom was big on the classics. Of course, dad being a Methodist minister, it could have likely been something at the church. Or singing with my sisters in the car on a trip? [The venue would be] Atlanta Symphony at Symphony Hall, Atlanta, or maybe a choir at a Methodist church? Or equally likely a Herman’s Hermits song while going down Route 66 in an early 60s chevy Impala.
[Dan] Blind Faith at The Spectrum in Philadelphia, the opening act was Taste
If you could perform with one artist, who would it be?
[Amy] I always wanted to sing with Dwight Yoakum. I really admire his vocal control.
[Charles]You mean a living artist? Uhmmm, Gonzalo Bergara, or Adrien Moignard. A dead artist? Django Reinhardt or Jimi Hendrix. An eternal, floating through time and space type artist? Leonard Cohen or Bob Dylan. Stuff Smith would be neat, too. Bill Frisell? Maybe everyone playing in New Orleans in 1928?
[Dan] Elvin Jones
If you could cover one album in a live concert, which would it be?
[Amy] Easy! “Julie Is Her Name” by Julie London. A simple trio of vocal, guitar, and bass. It is amazingly full and rich thanks to the incredible guitar work of Barney Kessel. Julie London’s singing is incredible, she makes it sound as if it’s off hand and relaxed, but try singing it!
[Charles] The Tubes ‘What Do You Want from Life?’ They were amazing. I saw them play at the Fox in the late 70s. They had a cast of thousands, back up singers, commandos attacking the stage, a Quaalude casualty throwing up on stage, great show.
[Dan] A Love Supreme – John Coltrane
What artist do you wish more people had in their music library?
[Amy] I am often saddened by the fact that there are so few people who ever experienced The Cramps. It is certain that the live performances were the true genius of this group. However, the simplicity of their songs, the clever turns of phrase, and the absolute joy the musicians conveyed while completely tearing the music to shreds is something that should be universal. The Album I suggest is “Smell of Female”.
[Charles] Is this a trick question? Django Reinhardt, of course. I mean, really, c’mon. All Django, all the time.
[Dan] Thelonius Monk
The Bonaventure Quartet on Youtube
Roswell Roswell Riverside Sounds
The Roswell Riverside Sounds concert series continue through October with performances from 7 to 9 PM. Riverside Park is located at 575 Riverside Road in Roswell.
The 2016 Artist Lineup Includes:
- May 7: Geoff Achison & the Souldiggers
- June 4: The Bonaventure Quartet w/ Amy Pike: Atlanta based western swing, gypsy jazz and original compositions
- July 2: Grace & the Victory Riders: folk, reggae, soul and blues-style original songs
- August 6: The Get Right Band: funk, rock and reggae
- September 3: Stephane Wrembel: world music and gypsy jazz
- October 1: Ed Roland & the Sweet Tea Project: Atlanta based rock band
Since 2001, Lee J. Howard Entertainment has sponsored the Riverside Sounds Concerts.