Halfway through the song, while I'm swaying to the sweet sounds, my friend leans over and says, "Wow... This is what dreams are made of."Indeed, in that moment, I couldn't have said it any other way.
Remember when I told you how I've been listening to Alika Lyman's "Summer Me" on repeat? Well, now I have the finished version fresh off of Alika's new CD featuring Pierre Grill on the Hammond B3 and a crisp, clean sound that makes this tune even more of a classic than it already is.
Jazz guitarist Alika Lyman, going to that "other" place.Do you recall how Alika threw a CD release party at The Dragon Upstairs? During the band's second set, Alika prepped his group for another song and, turning to me, said: this one's for you. Not so much with his lips but with his eyes, that's how he said it, knowing I've been a fan of "Summer Me" since he first sent me a link on Facebook back in November. It's an intoxicating tune, especially if you've grown up in Hawaii and lived in the Pacific Northwest for a number of years, as both Alika and I have. Gray weather can do many things to do. Like starting a Hawaiian music blog on a whim one night after hearing a mixtape by a Japanese DJ. But mostly, it makes you sing the blues for warmth and sunshine. Just listen:
Enter the Dragon Upstairs and you'll find Alika and his group.The Alika Lyman Group is a trio of talented musicians: Alika, Jeffrey James (drums) and Ricardo Diaz (bass). Throughout the night, the band finessed through straight jazz, light funk, ballads, and a surprising take on Duke Ellington's "Caravan"—transporting us exactly where you'd expect to be, in a Middle Eastern desert navigating our way to the next town by camel and cool jazz. It was so good that my friend started dancing in the now-empty seating area (it was 1am, a handful of people had left by then). Alika's got groove. I gotta saw, it'd be cool to see his band do an all-funk set sometime.
Alika Lyman Group can make you dance.The Dragon Upstairs provided an intimate setting for a room full of Alika's longtime friends. I haven't seen a lot of these people in nearly seven years (we all went to the same high school on Oahu). I can't wait to return for another night of great music. Alika, when's your next show at Dragon?