The Jazzcat

Chris Ho at the Westin Los Angeles LAX

by on Aug.05, 2004, under News


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The mind is a funny thing. For instance, what comes to mind when I mention the word “Smokey”? Well there is Smokey the bear, you might think of a fire or a bar-b-que, but, since this is all about the music, my guess is that you might think of Smokey Robinson. 
You might even say, “I like Smokey Robinson’s music”. Well this is where the trick comes in because it is Smokey Robinson’s music that you like and if you look beyond the pop icon to the people who are actually playing the music, you will see that the foundation for the sound that you enjoy is Chris Ho!

Chris brought his band to the Westin this week and when the clock struck 6 straight up, lovely music poured through the speakers. I had heard much about this band so I was very intrigued to hear their sound. From ballads, to sambas to powerfully rhythmic groves, the Chris Ho band delivered. These cats enjoy the music and their happiness comes through in their playing. Piano, Bass and Drums along with Sax and Synthesizers fuse the music into a melodic, harmonic, feel good sound. 

Their first set is usually on the mellower side but, as the night rocks on, so does the band. It is a contemporary sound that is on hit, on time and right in the pocket. Chris employs some great player like Wayne Wayne on who is out front on Tenor and plays some creative and very tasty jazz solos. John Balbuena complements on synthesizer with sounds ranging from organ, vibes, electric piano to whatever the tune call for. On Bass, Dr. Matt performs with precision speed and accuracy running up and down the neck of his variety of electric basses providing the bottom but, creating some nice lines out front as well.

The band even went to church with a tune called “Sunday Jazz”. Warm, relaxing and peaceful turning Wednesday night into a wonderful weekend treat! There was an International Fireman’s Convention that were having a private affair in the hotel. Chris and the band pulled many of them away from their own party to come and join the jazz.  <>The drums were hot as David Renick worked his kit and just when thing were really beginning to heat up, special guest Sal Marquez dropped in, pulled out his flugelhorn and trumpet and added some sauce to an evening of already fine cuisine. 

I am sure that Chris Ho and his band will be back at the Westin LAX soon! Be there next week Wednesday, August 11th 2004 for Spanky Wilson!

See you there! 
LeRoy Downs

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