A SLICE OF QUINCY
QUINCY COLEMAN AT HOTEL CAFE
A cold spell momentarily grips Los Angeles, making the women of the town think twice about the skirts, though many still throw caution to the wind and try holding down their mini drapery in the wind tunnel that is Cahuenga. A wiry looking Irishman, on his first visit to this town, notes the unexpected chilliness of the night. Despite the bleakness of impending frost, one can fine a reverse oasis at the Hotel Café, where the underground lives, where the future voices of music sharpen their vocals, where one Quincy Coleman makes a night of rime into her night of rhythm.
The preparation for the set looked promising enough, with a standup bass, piano, and trumpet in the mix. Tech issues with the sound guy slightly delayed the band, which, in a way, helped build the anticipation and energy of the jam-packed crowd; but once the set started, the crowd’s eagerness was definitely rewarded. A pair of mature ladies standing next to me were especially giddy, with their plastic, shiny clappers in hand and a childlike enthusiasm in their faces.
Described by Miss Coleman as an “Israeli, surf punk, gypsy swing,” the music is less a singular performance, like many other acts who are named after the front(wo)man, but more of a real band, something that has become a rare thing in these days of self-promotion. It must be noted that the bassist and drummer were performing for the first time with Quincy, which was discovered by this reporter after the fact, which points to the skill and abilities of these musicians.
Each component of the band fills the gaps for one another well, creating a nice, complete sound that is composed of seemingly all sounds American. With an emphasis on New Orleans jazz, Quincy’s sound also had hints of blues, pop, and good ol’ rock and roll, which was disarming, yet at the same time reassuring, allowing this reporter to remember that music can actually be good and without the desperate air of commercial pop’s instant gratification. The band heated up the night so much with their tightly clustered sound that Quincy at one moment had to wipe herself down before continuing. Now that’s hot, at many levels.
Currently supporting her sophomore album, Come Closer, Quincy notes that this time around, she felt it was important to rediscover the joys of music. She admits that her first album, Also Known as Mary, was very introspective and personal, which comes off a little heavy. With the new album, she made it a point to create a sound that is more inviting to the listener, yet still quintessentially Quincy. Her set here at the Hotel Café is the evidence of this decision, with a crowd swinging along with the chanteuse.
Quincy Coleman is currently traveling around, with a West Coast tour coming up. Her next appearance in this area will be at the Largo on Fairfax on March 28th, which should be on your calendar if it isn’t already.