Although Nicholas Tremulis is billed by Island Records as a solo act, I'm nonetheless convinced it's actually the band that makes his shows special. They're quite simply one of the most overwhelming R & B outfits around, approaching the sound and feel of an old-fashioned soul revue but laced with a few quirky 80s twists. Everything about the Tremulis show is big--the snappy, explosive rhythm section, the wry trombone-heavy horn charts (a Tremulis signature), the three blustery backup singers, and more. True, it can cross the line into bombast, and Tremulis--a reedy, mannered singer--often sounds overpowered by what's behind him. But what the hell--that band is hot, hot, hot, and they have interesting material (penned by Tremulis and trumpet player Roger Reupert) to work with, too. Among the guest musicians sitting in for this performance will be alto saxophonist Maceo Parker, the longtime James Brown/George Clinton sideman who appears on the new Tremulis LP, More Than the Truth. Tonight, 8:30 PM, Riviera Night Club, 4750 N. Broadway; 769-6300.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Chuck Emery.