Adryon and the Stonecutters, an R&B band with a streakof jazz, is not be confused with the Stonecutters, the Italy-based metal band that also has a streak of jazz. The Stonecutters of Long Beach is a patchwork of musicians we wouldn’t expect to come together. They are all from the same part of town but their backgrounds seem incongruous with each other, as incongruous as the words “Adryon” and “Stonecutter.” Not that this is a disadvantage in any way.
Adryon Gross – her first name is the Greek spelling of Adrian – is a rising star and a college student from Mission Viejo, a plucky prodigy who knew how to sing onstage at the age of four. She is a product of both outstanding luck and talent – her mother was a radio jingo singer, she somehow ended up performing in front of Maynard Ferguson as a sophomore in high school, and is now the darling of the Saddleback College Music Department. With a voice that remains deep and smooth even in high ranges, her style leans toward the Latin side. Ms. Gross has recently found herself a scene in the Long Beach area; before the Stonecutters, her main project was Upstart, a funk/soul/jazz band in the style of Bobby Womack and Otis Redding. Upstart was a frequent performer at Tantalum Restaurant, and now Tantalum is welcoming her back with another entirely new group of musicians.
Young jazz musicians have their own unique network going on in the Los Angeles area. The other three members – Cale Giachello, Doug Carter, and Sean Emch are college-age and have garnered their experiences from college bands. Cale Giachello was the loyal drummer for Max Haymer, the 22-year-old pianist who recorded an album without paying much mind to his lack of discography. Keyboardist Doug Carter, who has his own quintet, is more straight-ahead while Giachello is more Bill Evans. Sean Emch, also a student (he is also politically involved, majoring in “false flag operations and their impact on America and the world”), has a past in folk and rock. All of three of them have rather thin and unimposing facades. All of them are extremely young, but this doesn’t seem to stop any of them from taking advantage of every opportunity in the realms they inhabit, because they’ve performed at just about all the best venues So Cal has to offer. Then again, due to the poor state of education in California, they have less of a reason to focus on their academics than their east coast counterparts.
Adryon and the Stonecutters will be performing at Tantalum Restaurant, the lovely waterfront lounge in Alamitos Bay, which is promising but seems far too hoity-toity for these starving students. The band will performing three sets starting from 6:30 pm with no cover charge, bringing “authentic R&B and Soul with a mix of jazz”. The very word “authentic” hints at an astounding amount of confidence coming from such young people.
Tantalum Restaurant is located in the Marina Pacifica Shopping Center between Alcapulco and Loehman’s. Park your car in front of the mall if you’re coming by car. If you’re coming by boat (the restaurant’s website actually offers this option, no joke), dock your vehicle across the water from the Marina Pacifica Condo Complex. And for a map and directions, go to http://www.tantalumrestaurant.com/directions.