I caught the late set by this trio at Yoshi's on Wednesday night thinking it would be a nice jazz diversion amid all the Berg and Schubert I've been listening to and and something different before I started attending the summer operas.
First of all, all three players are very talented musicians and Hutcherson and Haden are living legends on their respective instruments (vibes, bass). Cables, however, was the center of the trio as far as I was concerned. Not too interested in placing form over feeling, he opened the set with a solo that was the high point from my perspective. Note I said this happened at the beginning of the set. From there it was pretty much all downhill, though with some brilliant virtuoso moments scattered throughout the next hour and ten minutes.
This is an odd trio format to begin with, and when half the set is taken up by vibes and bass solos, I'm sorry, but no matter what level of proficiency the players involved possess, it becomes pretty tedious, especially the bass solos.
Hutcherson is an interesting player to watch, the only one onstage who obviously likes being the center of attention, and Haden and Cables were only all too willing to cede the stage to his mugging and preening. This could be entertaining, but it also at times felt like showboating in such an intimate environment.
By the time Haden was on his 3rd solo, I was just hoping it was all going to end soon, but it didn't end soon enough for me. The decent-size crowd for a late Wednesday show, a pretty diverse mix by the way, seemed to have a different opinion than mine, and seemed very responsive and appreciative of every indulgent moment. I guess that's why Yes and Kansas are still touring. Some people will applaud for anything I guess.
As for me, an hour of Cables alone at the piano would have been the best of all possible outcomes. Alas, this wasn't his gig.