When was the last time an active duty Marine performed in a jazz- rock band and released a live DVD? This is not a trivia question; it’s a reality for one man and his band. I cannot say I have ever heard anything like this before. Mike Corrado and two of his Marine friends decided to form a group a few years ago. So now five albums and a DVD later, Corrado and his tight-as-a-drum unit are showing why they have been creating such a buzz in their home state of North Carolina and on armed forces radio and TV. Most certainly, with a top-notch production as this DVD Live at Thalian Hall; their popularity will enjoy a spike in overall sales of their recorded works.
Corrado is talented bandleader, singer, and guitar player that relies on an outstanding band to bring his music and message on home to his audience. Although they are not much to witness visually, flash and pomp are not necessary when you have a great band performing in front of you. Corrado’s voice has just enough roughness around the fringes to make it appealing, and it is perfect for this music, as you will witness. His style embraces each composition with heartfelt emotion and grace.
With funky and tasteful grooves like on "Sugar" and "Single With Toys," the diversity of this band really shines. They implement elements of jazz, R & B, pop and rock for an across the board sound that would most certainly appeal to audiences of all ages and listening preferences. Comparisons to Dave Matthews are inevitable, and that can be a good thing for any band vying for attention.
I found the drummer Lamont Syndor very enjoyable to watch, particularly on "Mr. Lamont," a track designed just for him. His drum kit is setup so the standup bongos are to his left. He puts one drumstick in his mouth then starts playing with the freed up hand on the bongos yet continues to play his drum kit with the one stick and his foot, it is really quite amazing. Better watch out Mike, Santana will be recruiting him soon! That is but one of many highlights of great musicianship you will see and hear from this great band. Kent Hobson (bass), Joe Yankel (saxophones), Adrian Duke (keys, Hammond) and Tommy Brothers (lead guitar) put on a show of their own as Corrado makes sure they all get their share of the spotlight during the concert. This is a no frills event, just great music and talented players doing what they do best, making this DVD an added gem to your collection.