Bloodest Saxophone: Ultimate R&B

Despite its awkward name, Bloodest Saxophone is very specific about its musical aims. An old-fashioned R&B rhythm and horn section, they play pretty much anything that swings, from blues to cocktail jazz to boogie woogie, and with an emphasis on the woogie, so to speak. They don’t seem to touch anything that can’t be milked for maximum sexual feeling.

The band’s afternoon gig at the Field of Heaven opened with three instrumentals that touched all the bases, from slow, greasy blues to big band Louis Jordan swing to “Tequila.” The capacity crowd was primed for the girl singer.

Jewel Brown is a veteran, one of those old school vocalists whose conversational approach aligns with any R&B style that’s available. On in years, she spent the entire set seated in front of a music stand with the lyrics for reference, but nothing could dampen her ardor, neither old age nor the heat. She was constantly preaching, getting the band–all Japanese players – and the crowd, to “pick it up,” “get it moving,” and “slowing it down a bit,” as the case may be.

It might have been more appropriate to watch such a swinging, rocking (or “rolling,” a word Brown used quite a bit) show in a smokey night club or auditorium, but Heaven was perfect, and the old gal obviously enjoyed every minute of it. We did too.