Today’s destination was a bright pink building across the street from the Post Office in Palm Springs, otherwise known as Tropicale. Upon entering the glass doors, one is instantly submerged into a sophisticated tropical theme. Iron tropical tapestries line the walls, and beautiful tropical flower arrangements decorate the booths throughout the venue. What really makes this place unique is the amount of comfortable seating there is. From the multitudes of booth seating, the cushioned bar stools, to the couches one can almost fall asleep on. Almost makes a person never want to leave! The comfortable seating is perfect for relaxing to the calming sounds of the Derrik Lewis Duo. The manager came out and greeted every patron in the bar, rounding out the entire feel of the venue. It’s easy to see why this place attracts so many regulars.
The house music died down as the Derrik Lewis Duo began to play. It was a seamless transition almost as if the radio faded into a new song. The Jazz duo consisted of piano with vocals and an upright bass. The duo started with an upbeat song. The piano instantly took the listener in and moved with the groove of the bass. Usually when one hears a Jazz pianist in a bar setting it’s easy to tune them out as background music. The Derrik Lewis duo on the other hand engaged the listener with a hint of energetic rock and roll mixed with smooth jazz. The bass blended very well as the pianist did a great job letting the bass come out during his solos. When Derrik did sing, his vocals can be described as warm and inviting. There was no attempt to try and impress the audience with his vocals, it was very pleasant to listen to. Derrik kept his piano performance clear. The melody was never buried, and the listener never had to strain to recognize each song. Another notable feature of Derrik’s skill on the piano was his blend of effortless fast scalar motives, and beautiful melodies during his improvised solos. He also brought out different sounds out of the piano through his voicing of chords and melodies. Some favorite tunes of the night were “Come Fly with Me” and “I Wish You Love”. My personal favorite was a samba instrumental that would have got me dancing had there been a dance floor. The duo drew applause with every standard they performed.
Overall the mix of sophistication, tropical design, relaxing couches and Jazzy standards will keep you coming back for more. It’s easy to see why there is a “Cheers” type atmosphere here. The live music certainly brings this venue to life. The Derrik Lewis Duo performs at Tropicale every Tuesday night from 5:30 pm to 9 pm.
Tropicale can be found on the web at: http://www.thetropicale.com