Jazz guitarist Ray Matuza recalls the performance of the Ted Ludwig Trio in late January – with video.
With the live music scene beginning to feel like a fading memory of the not too distant past, it was nice to recall the New York debut of The Ted Ludwig Trio at The Bar Next Door during the weekend of January 24-25 of this year. With Geoff Clapp on drums and Tamir Schmerling on bass this particular winter Friday night, the N’awlins born Ludwig brought forth from down Arkansas way a musical force equivalent to any winter storm that is common for us northern folks this at time of year. Armed with his 7 string Mirabella Crossfire Deluxe, the big guy inaugurated the night with a reading of Pat Martino’s 6/4 gem “The Visit”.
Ted ripped through chorus after chorus followed by bassist Schmerling, soloing with an intense communication between himself and his instrument. Drummer Clapp followed suit before returning to the head and taking it all home. Clapp set up the next dish by providing a healthy serving of deep groove for the slinky “Chitlins Con Carne”. Ludwig’s blues approved pentatonic minor flavored solos with angular twists were followed by in-kind by Schmerling and then Clapp, who finished the meal with a melodically inspired solo. The next tune-up, “Alone Together” featured an extended bass solo thanks to a power outage which of course brought a round of applause! The trio then calmed the crowd down with the not-to-often heard “Beautiful Old Ladies”. Ludwig provided a gorgeous solo intro to the Harold Batiste penned gem followed by an intimate interpretation by the trio. After a few more tunes and minus any electrical surprises, the set ended with a swingin’ version of “Just Friends”.
Photos by Cristian Mirabella