the Mad Frog
November 14, 2006
Zilla's performance at The Mad Frog in Cincinnati, Ohio on November 14, 2006 hopped with bounding vivaciousness and an appeasing willingness to transcend rock and jazz fusion formats. The trio came to town backing their double disc release all Iz, and drew a seasoned and curious audience ready to dance.
Plugged in hammered dulcimer player Jamie Janover took center stage as he gently beat the echoing melodies that swirled through the backroom on his electric Kalimba. Bassist Aaron Holstein closed his eyes in a concentrated trance as wave after rhythmic wave crashed through the sound mix while he slapped out elusive anchoring modulations on guitar. The all Iz recording dominated the proceedings, adding flash and pomp to the ebbing improvisations. Drummer Michael Travis of String Cheese Incident dominated the off-center percussion through a series of sampled beats delivered on bongos, congas, drums and keyboards. His flailing, dervish performance held the Mad Frog's patrons in a rapt, hushed reverence.
As the unit put the pieces of all Iz's collective puzzle together, Zilla at The Mad Frog in Cincinnati on November 14 proved to be an overwhelming evening of sonic riches cloaked in the finer tradition of charged, progressive instrumentation.