First, let me say that Mike Dillon Band blew away any expectations I had about its show last night at Martin’s. I had seen Dillon before, playing drums, vibraphone and percussion with the Dead Kenny Gs, but this was something altogether better.
No offense to Skerik, who leads those Gs, and who we will see at FloydFest along with Dillon for several different gigs (Garage a Trois among them, and most likely sit-ins with Galactic). But Mike Dillon Band just feels better, sounds better, is better.
Maybe the key reason is that Dillon leaves the drumming to Adam Gertner, allowing him to focus on the vibes and percussion work — to stunning results. Gertner is perfect for the band, and with Cliff Hines on bass, guitar and a wacky little synthesizer, the rhythm section is a pillar.
But another major factor setting this act apart is trombonist/vibes player (where else does one find this combination?) Carley Meyer. This woman has energy enough for 10 people. When she’s not wailing seriously on the ‘bone, or playing vibes harmonies with Dillon (as you’ll see if you stick around to the end of this admittedly long, two-song video), she is dancing like a dervish, seemingly without breaking a sweat.
Dillon introduced her as the “Geddy Lee of the trombone,” and moving closer to the stage, one could see why. She was often playing bass pedals with her feet, at times while she was playing the t-bone. A fascinating display of skill and coordination all the way around.
It was a Tuesday at Martin’s, so of course, there were only about 30 people there. But good lord a’mighty, this was the shyte! I’ll try to get the names of these tunes soon.