TX:Presented inhouse. Reviewed June 21, 1996. Cocktail, bachelor pad, lounge — call it what you will — the genre has been short on finding a generation capable of extending the legacies of Esquivel and Morton Gould. In its purest form, lounge is cold — martinis, suits, digestible melodies and futuristic furniture — yet the art form by which modern performance is based, rock ‘n’ roll, is concerned with heat. Four Piece Suit, a Boston quartet known primarily as the Savages, who back the inimitable R&B singer Barrence Whitfield, allow those outside influences to flow freely on disc (“Ready to Where?” was issued last month by Ocean Music) and with unfettered abandon in concert. It’s a perfect basement combo: loud and raunchy but manicured, able to deliver multigenerational pleasure with catchy melodies from Xavier Cugat and movies of yore.
TX:Henry Mancini stands tallest to this configuration, and the two Hank pieces performed Friday –“A Shot in the Dark” and “Something for Cat” from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”– showed how solid the old maestro was at rock composition. Guitarist Milt Reder and saxophonist David Sholl have nearly unnatural affection for Finnish folk tunes — to them anything can be adapted to surf or vintage R&B treatment.
They create hip kitsch by roaring through Neil Young’s “Hey Hey My My” and start a hip-grind with their own “In Pain in Paris” and “Strip Search.” Four Piece Suit is a perfect fit for any era.