The opening game of the World Series didn't help attendance any when Young-Holt Unlimited performed at Murph's Supper Club Tuesday night, but the poor turnout didn't dampen the jazz trio's spirits. On the contrary, bassist Eldee Young and drummer Isaac "Redd" Holt projected the same relaxed, after-hours charm that frequently distinguished their early collaborations with Ramsey Lewis as well as their own hits, including "Soulful Strut."
Now featuring pianist Jeremy Monteiro, the trio didn't reprise its best-known tunes during the opening set but chose instead to concentrate on pop standards and a couple of compositions by Monteiro. Of the latter, "Always in Love" was the most moving. The haunting elegiac ballad demonstrated the pianist's strong melodic gifts and offered a sharp contrast to the trio's spry rendition of "All of Me," affably sung by Young, and the waves of sensuous rhythms that Holt created on "Meditation." Blues and swing were also handled with flair, with Young often humming over his angular bass solos and Holt deploying sticks, brushes, hands and elbow to colorful effect.
The 14th Street club, incidentally, is a real find -- spacious, comfortable and adjacent to free indoor parking at the Reeves Municipal Center.