SUNSET IN THE SAVANNAH ROOM

In Arts & Life /

By Jessica Lewis

In today’s music world of heavy-laden vocals, Sunset Revue keeps under the radar: the band remains purely instrumental. Yet, it pours the same amount of heart into its sound as vocally-driven bands do.

With every movement of their fingers on the instruments, the quartet reveals how much effort and joy they are putting into their music – and how they are struggling to keep funky jazz alive.

The band includes two Ryerson ‘95 graduates from the former administration information management program — Mark Tatone on guitar and Rob Krasevich on bass. Jordan Paul and Jody Yvonne fill out the quartet on the electric piano and drums. Sunset Revue played at the Savannah Room on College Street this past Saturday to a small but crowded room of about 50.

Sunset Revue, decked out in vintage clothing, started its set around 11:30 p.m. The band blended with the laidback scene, playing a comfortable and soulful set.

The faithful crowd received them well, roaring with applause after each song. Fusing jazz, funk and rock together with a classic, unrelenting touch, the intimate music had a Santana-vibe to it.

Each instrument added its own light and dark tones of the music, building a layered choir of sound. And with each song, its set personified the nearby Kensington Market with a trendy style you have to look past the mainstream to find.

The Savannah Room is one of those bars that’s hard to find; but once you’re inside, it feels very at peace. It has a slight earth-toned atmosphere to it, with candles on every table, fake trees and tapestries hanging from the wall.

Everyone in the audience seemed to know each other, filling the room with voices and clinking glasses. The band credits its main influences as movie soundtracks, it puts its own spin on the music.

It covered an Ennio Morricone (Italian film composer) piece, but with a lighter and sweeter sound. Other influences include jazz composers Lalo Schifrin, Chuck Mangione, Herb Alpert and Cal Tjader.

After the set, Krasevich celebrated his 31st birthday with friends, and a birthday cake. “All I wish is that we can keep doing it more and more,” Krasevich said, giving away the secret birthday wish.

You can listen to and learn more about the band at www.myspace.com/sunsetrevue.

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