Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Night at Natalie's

I went to Natalie's Coal Fired Pizza and Live Music last night.  The food and service were excellent, as usual.  The band was a little slow.

According to el horario, we were supposed to see Magically Delicious: Tribute to Ornette Coleman, but that event was canceled at the very last minute.  Instead we were treated to La Charanga Tres, a band which featured many of the same musicians we'd have seen anyway, less the bass player who was at the hospital caring for his poor mother, who is very sick.

I enjoy Cuban music, and the renditions of the selected songs were very good, but the overall sound is somnolent.  Almost all of the selections date back to the 1940s and 50s - which is a quiet, refined style more suited to a formal setting.  Think in terms of Miami Beach in the 50s, when men didn't go anywhere without wearing a suit, white shirt, and a tie.  Men also wore a hat - if you weren't wearing your hat, you'd be labeled a guttersnipe.   Ladies dressed to the absolute nines and never went anywhere alone.  Virtually everyone could dance, and did so to bands like this.

Individually, the members of La Charanga Tres are excellent musicians, but they seemed a little unprepared for this evening's show.

Band Members
Like I said earlier, the food at Natalie's is first rate.  Sitting near the coal fired oven during the winter is a large part of the general ambience.  During the summer, maybe not so much.

Window Overlooking Hades?
I had leftover pizza for lunch today, and it's still excellent.  The service is as good as the pizza.

The Band Onstage
So while La Charanga Tres has a good sound and did an excellent job, by the third number I started jonesing for Willie Bobo, or Joe Cuba playing 'Bang Bang', or maybe Los Lobos and 'La Bamba'.  The band played until 10:30; I left at 10:00.  Not their fault.

My own opinion, for whatever that's worth, is that if La Charanga Tres wanted to improve, they'd get a horn section, a trio of vocalists, and turn the temperature up on the Latin music.  That last is really what I'd like to see.


Old NFO said...

One wonders if that was an 'aw crap' moment when the bassist went to the hospital, and they were doing what they could?

CWMartin said...

Pizza looks good...

Mad Jack said...

The pizza was great!

I'm sure that the band was having problems due to a change in band members, but they really did have a good sound. It was the choice in music that I was disappointed in. When they played a cha-cha or mambo, it sounded like something from the 1940s or 50s, which is pretty tame stuff. Their bolero, a somewhat obscure song that I'd heard before, was putting me to sleep - and it shouldn't have.

So, there's always the next show.