John Covelli has crafted something special. Live At The Last Hotel is a jazz journey that takes you to a place and time that somehow feels both nostalgic and modern.
If you're in need of a musical vacation, try checking in for Live at The Last Hotel. The latest release from John Covelli and the Hard Bop Messengers is a jazzy getaway that takes you to a time and place where everyone is hip, and everything is happening. It's an ambitious concept - a jazz album that literally tells a story. A visionary, original, genre-defying musical journey that reminds you of what jazz can be.
Covelli uses his own musical journey as a basis for this experience. As a graduate of the esteemed jazz program at Webster University (where the album was recorded), he sets his foundation on the classic bop styles of the late '50s and early '60s - but there's much more here. Covelli has played in dozens of bands over the years and learned just as many styles. He infuses the album with those influences and the result will have you tapping your toes and bobbing your head along with every tune.
Born from a residency at the REAL Last Hotel in downtown St. Louis, each song paints a picture with bounce and bustle. The lyrics tell the story of the trials and tribulations of a fictional hotel through the eyes of its employees. Vocalist Matt Krieg really brings these characters to life. The album tries to conjure the band's live performances and Krieg's loose and inviting style captures that feeling perfectly.
Each song is bursting with first-rate musicianship. Covelli knew he had something special when he assembled this group and he gives them all room to shine. Each solo is so good it makes you want to applaud. Ben Shafer deftly handles the sax and even mixes in a wonderful flute performance on "Roof Top." Drummer Nick Savage and bassist Chris Meschede provide the backbone for the album, and Luke Sailor on piano, delivers exceptional performances throughout. Slide in Covelli's well-worn trombone and the Hard Bop Messengers really live up to their name.
So, kick back and relax at Live at The Last Hotel. It's the place to be. You might even want to extend your stay.