As I walked in, they were in the middle of Harold Arlen & Johnny Mercer's "Out of This World." Then they played U2's "With or Without You" as a duet — Wennås arpeggiating on acoustic guitar behind Marsico's beautifully controlled ballad-tempo reading. The entire band returned for the Neapolitan folk song "Scalinatella" ("Little Steps") with Marsico's idiomatic minor-key bent grace notes and Todd Marston's accordion. "Sail Away," by Tom Harrell, was a non-standard jazz tune by the great trumpeter. The closer, Wennås's driving 6/8 "Mind Games," was the most "out" of the set, with Wennås lending dissonant accompaniment to Marston's accordion and drummer Austin McMahon taking a snares-off solo that was as dry and precise — and in the composition — as it was ferocious. After the set, Wennås told me that their book also includes Bob Dylan and Tears for Fears, and that the band (of which bassist Kendall Eddy is also part) had just recorded a CD. Something to look forward to in 2011.
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