Local Band Takes Dayton By Surprise…Again!
By D. Thrasher
Note: This article was published in the “Active Dayton” and “Dayton’s Nite Scene” magazine.
“Kick-N-Flava”, electrified Gilly’s Niteclub in Dayton, Ohio. It was their second appearance there to a standing room only crowd. They were invited back by Gilly’s owner, Jerry Gillotti, after their first sold out appearance.
Gilly’s Niteclub, a well-known venue for national and internationally known artist such as SpyroGyra, Kim Waters, Alex Bugnon, Boney James, and Pieces of a Dream, welcomed the local favorite contemporary jazz group with open arms.
“Kick-N-Flava” is a 7 member group who puts their own personal ‘tlava’ to their contemporary jazz sound. The band consist of front man Mike AUamby on sax, Jerry Hawes on keyboards, Claude Coatie on lead guitar, J.D. Williams on bass, Brian Smiley on drums, Percussionist David Matthews and Vocalist Eric Bailey. As a special guest vocalist, Anita Washington joined the group on their second appearance at Gilly’s. Their songs were immediately catchy, but far from the basic contemporary jazz formula. They were able to strike a balance between a physical and mental experience. In other words, you could move along with the melodies but still escape into a dreamlike state, leaving you completely uninhibited in a sea of tranquility. Eric Bailey mesmerized the crowd with his soft smooth Luther Vandross sounding vocals and Anita Washington brought them to a standing ovation wanting more. As the night drew to an end, an encore was demanded by the audience because no one wanted the music to end.
There are those times when you take a chance on a band that you might have heard of in passing, but have not experienced personally. “Kick-N-Flava” is one of those bands that, should you have the opportunity to see them, you had better go or you’ll be missing out on
one fantastic performance. This bands approach to making music is as refreshing as it is inspiring.
Check them out the next time you hear that they’re in a city near you.