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Peformance-art jazz

Live at the Stain Bar
Live at the Stain Bar (DVD)
By the Quartet of Happiness

Self-released: 2007

Buy it now


This review first appeared in Turbula in December 2007.

Free-form yet swinging, this DVD captures a loosely knit jazz theater – telling a story through acting and music.

The Boston-based Quartet of Happiness is led by Rick Stone and Kelly Roberges on alto and tenor saxes on twin leads, with bass (Kendall Eddy) and drums (Austin McMahon) behind them. Despite being a home-made video of the young quartet playing in what appears to be a tiny storefront cafe, this DVD captures the fun both the quartet and their small but appreciative audience had with their evening of performance-art jazz (what the band calls "a theatrical jazz experience").

From chasing a monster to manning a fire engine while battling a blaze, the story-telling through music feels like a very modern take on Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf as filtered through Ornette Coleman.