Too often, we hear Shanghai residents bemoaning the lack of good live music, especially when compared to our neighbor to the north. Sure, we all love a good Filipino cover band every now and then, but …
Well, tonight and, sadly, only tonight, the Sam Hooper Group will perform a night of blues rhythms and funky, rock-infused jams for their groove-thirsty fans in Shanghai — and they’ll do it for free. Last night, they jumped in for two impromptu songs with Greg Smith and the gang at the Cotton Club, giving lucky bystanders a taste of what will be served this evening on the third floor of Malone’s (yes, there is actually a third floor). The notable addition of keyboardist Todd Marston filled out the band’s sound and proved that jet-lag had nothing on these guys.
Sam Hooper, bassist Jordan Scannella, and drummer Akira Nakamura played as a trio from January through March of 2004 at Lin Dongfu’s House of Blues and Jazz on Maoming Lu. With the help of composer and music-lover Gordon J. Stevenson, the Sam Hooper Group recorded an EP titled East on one of their last days in Shanghai. Now that Gordon is retiring from Philips, he’s underwritten this one-night gig to help mark the occasion.
Sam Hooper Group, 9:30 tonight at Malone’s, 255 Tongren Lu, near Nanjing Xi Lu (请带我去铜仁路255号, 近南京西路). Free admission.