Lettuce Make an Impression at Brooklyn Bowl

December 23rd, 2013

Lettuce – Brooklyn Bowl – December 20, 3013

(Photo: Jared Levy)

Words can’t explain funk. A groove is felt, but when the music stops the feeling fades away. Any attempt to remember the sounds and reflect on the experience is doomed to muddle the truth: that some musical moments happen and then vanish. What can be related, though, is the impression, the lingering feeling, before it’s lost to time. And what can be remembered about Lettuce at Brooklyn Bowl on Friday night is that it felt perfectly right.

For those unfamiliar with Lettuce, the band name doesn’t give much insight, nor does it relate to anything in particular. Instead, the musicians who perform under the name bring their own meaning to the leafy vegetable: playful, soulful and fresh. More plaudits can be applied, but again, this is the cheap press for a band that is better heard than explained. Whether its Eric Krasno’s chatty guitar solos with his mouth moving, half-speaking words to notes, or the playful rhythm section of Erick Coomes on bass and Adam Deitch on drums, there is much to see and hear, and less to write in response.

Except there are those moments that a watchful eye can observe and report, how Neal Evans, who plays with Krasno in the prodigious funk-jazz trio Soulive, directed the horn section for blazing renditions of “Lettansanity” and “Madison Square.” Or how Alecia Chakour and Nigel Hall brought their vocal talents to soul songs from the ’70s to the present. It’s a glimpse into the performance, a snapshot from moving picture. It’s the best that can be done. Now it’s up to you: Go out, hear and see for yourself. —Jared Levy