Music » Critics' Picks

Saric, Stone and McClain with Bhob Rainey

Tuesday, December 23; Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center


Supergroups are created when larger-than-life members of various existing bands join forces to rock your ass off. More often than not, it's a cheap trick designed to jump-start flagging record sales and cause the public's waning interest in balding has-beens to wax anew. Strictly speaking, a musical force comprising the talents of David Lee Roth, Jaco Pastorius, Lee Liberace and Zamfir would be a supergroup. That said, a little restraint goes a long way when musical giants unite to impose their wills on the collective cochlea.

St. Louis has its fair share of musical giants and has seen a few supergroups emerge from the pack, but exercising prudence and good taste doesn't always rank high on the to-do lists of these bands. That's why one of the most exciting projects to form within the city limits of our Lou is that of Saric, Stone and McClain, a supergroup in every sense of the word. They'll be even more super with the addition of a guest player, the revered experimental soprano saxophonist Bhob Rainey (pictured).

Many of you know Mark Saric as the enthusiastic proprietor of the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center who can be seen bobbing his head in agreement with the rawk at every show the venue hosts. What you probably don't know is that Saric is a highly accomplished composer and pianist, and that his comprehension of music as a whole borders on the divine.

Dave Stone has already earned his place in St. Louis music history as the impeccable bebop saxophonist who regularly holds court at Mangia Italiano and whose gifted improvisation exhibits a mesmerizing amalgam of technique, musicianship and personality. Future generations will likely regard Stone in the same vein as Miles Davis, and his contribution to Saric's ensemble is anticipated to intoxicate.

Fans of local genius-rockers Grand Ulena and the now-disbanded Johnny Angel know Danny McClain to be a whip-smart percussionist whose rhythmic fury is equaled by a command of dynamics that approaches the human voice in its expressiveness. What few have witnessed is McClain's subtle side, and it'll be interesting to see how he incorporates his brand of time code into the melee.

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