Adam Ledbetter’s Jazz Trio at Saints in the Plaza District, OKC
On this particular night as I walked through the door of Saints Pub, I felt like I was walking through a portal that took me into a place that seemed like it was “inside,” but I also felt like it was “outside” as the drapes surrounding the stage were tied back and providing a semi-panoramic view of a very busy corner right in the middle of The Plaza District.
As I sat in my usual seat to the left side of the stage, I had this really deeply moving experience of watching cars drive by and people walking by, both this way and that, and it felt like there was this “pulse” of alternating movements going on at another level of consciousness. I really couldn’t put my finger on what it was and just decided to groove with it.
As TheAdamLedbetterTrio took the stage, comprised ofAdamLedbetterhimself on the keyboard, Jemar Poteat on drums, and Stephen Schultz on the upright bass, little did I know that this pulse of alternating movements and the juxtaposition of “inside” and “outside” amidst those windows around the stage would completely set the tone for the rest of the evening in a way that was life-changing for me.
As the Trio began to play, I couldn’t help but notice that seeing these guys move and their physical presence on stage was as powerful as the incredible vibes coming from their instruments as they presented one beautifully crafted rendition of one jazz standard after another.
Where do I start?
It was like a feast for the ears and the eyes.
There was music and there was movement.
It was all one. At least in my own personal experience, there was no way to separate the two.
WatchingAdamLedbetterplay the keyboards while he would alternate between looking down at the keys and then looking up and seemingly way off into the distance with a gaze that felt like he was seeing somewhere that was far away and then quickly “bringing something back” as he would lean back into his immediate environs was a mystical experience for me. I have no idea where he went, but I really feel like I traveled there along with him.
Seeing Stephen Schultz playing the upright bass was an unexpected treat for me as I have only seen him play the electric bass like no one else I have ever seen or heard except for Jaco Pastorius.
One cannot just simply hear Stephen play the bass……it is something that must be SEEN. The feeling of alternating movements on this particular evening intensified as he moved back and forth in a way that seemed to punctuate the music visually……it was like experiencing the music in a whole other dimension.
As Jemar Poteat provided the engine that powered the entire enterprise forward, he would periodically look away from his drums and peer outside in a way that seemed to gently bring my awareness back to the fact that this music, this night, this experience wasn’t just happening inside Saints Pub. It was also radiating outward and then being brought back into the room by a sort of “gravitational pull” that came from the power of the music happening on that stage, in front of the windows that I looked through and out into the world.