Jeff Golub became my favorite guitarist after I noticed his Dangerous Curves CD at the local library. I liked the cover picture, so I checked out the CD and took a listen. I loved Golub’s bluesy phrasing and immediately purchased several of his other CDs. So, when I heard he was coming to Sacramento as a member of the "Guitars and Saxes" show at the Radisson Hotel’s Guzzetta Grove, I had to go-even though it meant a 120 mile round trip drive from home.
Guzzetta Grove is a pleasant outdoor venue located in a large courtyard surrounded by the Radisson Hotel. Several hundred folding chairs were placed facing the stage, with bars conveniently located on the perimeter. On the bill were saxophonists Gerald Albright and Richard Elliott and guitarists Jeff Golub and Peter White. The concert began before dark, starting with one number by each of the four artists. The rest of the evening, the sold-out crowd was treated to longer performances, as each artist had an opportunity to play his own material with the support of the hot back up band, and then play with his fellow headliners.
Jeff Golub’s sets were the high points for me. When Jeff was introduced he came bounding out slinging a Fender Stratocaster. A jazz guitarist playing a Strat? Oh yeah. He dedicated his first song to all the beautiful women out there, and launched into the song that was responsible for my being there, "Dangerous Curves." Jeff’s enthusiasm was infectious and you couldn’t help but like the guy.
According to the official "Guitars and Saxes" website (http://www.guitarsandsaxes.com/), the idea for the "Guitars and Saxes" show was the brainchild of Bob Engel and John Harrington of Variety Artists, who put on the first show in 1995. I like the concept of putting artists who would be headliners in their own right on the stage together. There is a synergy between guitars and saxes, with sax riffs sounding great on guitar and visa versa. The four stars fired each other up as they apparently tried to outshine their peers’ virtuosity, energy, and emotion. That served to generate more admiration from the enthusiastic crowd, which in turned pushed the performers to even greater heights. By the end of the night everyone around-including me-was on their feet dancing.