Ari Hoenig — drummer and bandleader of the Ari Hoenig Trio — counted off: 1, 2, 3, 4. Bassist Or Bareket and pianist Nitai Hershkovits flashed smiles at Hoenig, as a sign that they were ready to make music.
Hershkovits’s harmonies were a clear response to what the drummer had begun with, his rhythms sprinkled with melodious lines of a familiar tune. All three were completely in sync with one another, catching every clever musical gesture. A chuckle from Bareket confirmed this as he zoned in on their musical conversation.
His contribution: a walking bass line serving as the foundation, spinning the trio into a whirlwind of sound that demanded the attention of all in the room.
“Thanks you guys a lot for being here we are iaw fra itagioiuu. . .” said Luca Lando, guitarist and vocalist of Go!zilla, the fuzz punk band from Florence, Italy, that played Cafe Nine.
His syllables rolled back like eyeballs, as though a wah-wah pedal were wired into his vocal chords. His Caesarian haircut shellacked to his forehead, he crossed one shin behind his planted foot and tilted his head like a cherubic Jesus.
Apparently, fuzz punk is huge in Northern Italy right now.
MakeHaven, the techie maker space on State Street, is trying something new this Friday and Saturday: its first inaugural Make-A-Thon, intended to familiarize more local tinkerers with the organization, its staff, and its tools.
Hartford’s Amphibious Man, a jammy, grungy, surf rock band with a vaguely Spanish sound, opened its set at Cafe Nine last Thursday with their tidal wave of a single, “Laureline.” (The video stands as a DIY triumph.) As the song wound down, singer and guitarist Jason Principi turned around and slowly pressed his heel onto one of the many pedals that filled his effects briefcase. It let the audience catch a glimpse of Principi’s guitar strap, thoroughly duct-taped to his Stratocaster.
Opener Kyla P. stood on the stage of Cafe Nine tuning her guitar as Natalie Tuttle (pictured) moved behind her with a djembe and cajon, ready to back her up.
“The first time I ever met Natalie was the first time I ever sang in public,” Kyla P. said. She related how she and Tuttle hit it off fast. Tuttle liked the look of her guitar and asked Kyla P. if she could try it out. Kyla P. let her. When Tuttle started to play, Kyla P. recalled what she thought: Holy shit, you’re good.
Cristina Harris started the Elvis Presley crooner “Today, Tomorrow, and Forever” without warning. She just sat at the keyboard and began working through the changes. It was more than enough. All the conversation in the room quieted. The Buddy Holly that the bar was playing over the sound system faded.
By the time she started singing, there was no other sound in the room but the music. She turned the lush arrangement from the movie Viva Las Vegas into a stark, fragile thing that held the audience rapt, even reverential, until the very end.