By John Lawrence
On Saturday, February 1, a trio group called “The North” played San Diego’s premiere jazz club, Dizzy’s, just off the I-5 in Pacific Beach. It was a pre-release party for their album, “Slow Down (This Isn’t the Mainland)” which is officially due out April 15 although albums were available at the club. The group consists of Romain Collin, piano, Shawn Conley, bass, and Abe Lagrimas Jr, drums.
Recorded in Hawaii, and dedicated to Oahu’s north shore (hence the name), they mainly created a mellow, laid back sound. No hard-edged New York City vibe here. As such the music should be very accessible for the average listener but not so much for the die hard jazz fan. One person’s “laid back” is another person’s “nuthin much happenin.”
The group performed the tunes they had recorded on the album, naturally. The most successful tune even more so in concert than on the album was Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind.” The group’s exquisite rendering was almost prayerful and churchlike. They tried quite successfully to incorporate folk music in their ouvre.