Kila’s Little Cottage of Jazz

By Beacon Staff

KILA – Life is good for the five members of Silver’s Platter.

They wake up when they want to, stroll over to The Cottage Inn for breakfast and then get funky.

Combining elements of jazz and funk, with traces of the blues and Frank Sinatra, Silver’s Platter rocks The Cottage Inn throughout the day, jamming, practicing and drinking coffee.

They’re all between 19 and 22 and they live together – four in a house and one in a tipi in the front yard. A personalized Frisbee golf course and a tree fort are situated near the house, which is tucked away in the hills around Kila. The abode comes free of cost: They “play their rent,” serving as The Cottage’s house band every Friday and Saturday night.

Silver’s Platter members Karl Berdimurat, Sam Bassett, David Brabham, Richard Davenport and Aaron Robinson, left to right, rehearse at The Cottage Inn in Kila.

Just don’t ask them to play “Night Moves.”

“We get a lot of Bob Seger requests,” said Aaron Robinson, the band’s piano and keyboard player. “But we’re not going to learn any.”

On one hand, Silver’s Platter band members are fun-loving, rambunctious young guys. On the other hand, they spend hours studying music theory and learning the finer points of jazz. It is the combination of these elements that makes them such a fun live show.

Aside from a few covers, mostly jazz standards, the band plays all original music. They describe their music as a “healing funk tree.”

Robinson, who studied (music at Seattle University), is the source of much of the band’s jazz influence. But while he may have the most formal education in music, they all can play.

With coffee cup, water glass and orange juice close at hand, Aaron Robinson bangs out sweet jazz riffs on the piano during Silver’s Platter rehearsal in Kila.

Karl Berdimurat, the lead guitarist, intermixes his jazz progressions with bluesy licks and soulful solos. Drummer David Brabham, one of the original members along with Berdimurat and Sam Bassett, is a one-man rhythm section. Richard Davenport quit his job and picked up a bass for the first time last September. The subsequent half year has been a crash course in jazz and music theory.

“I’m just diving in head first,” Davenport said.

Then there is Bassett, the lead singer, trumpeter and guitar player. He also holds one other vital distinction: son of Keith and Kathryn Basset, who own both The Cottage and the guesthouse the band members live in. They, quite literally, are the band’s lifeline.

At 19, Bassett’s voice is clear and articulate, without frills and within his range. It’s not overly powerful, but it’s effective, especially with the Sinatra-like tunes.

“Sammy’s a damn good singer,” Robinson said.

Silver’s Platter cut an album last summer, but didn’t have the funds to spend much time in the studio. So they rushed through it a bit and even though they were initially pleased with the result, today they cringe at how unfinished much of it sounds. They’re a lot better now.

Karl Berdimurat, left, and David Brabham rehearse with Silver’s Platter at the Cottage Inn in Kila.

“Progression is your worst critic,” Robinson said.

This summer, the band has a busy schedule of weddings and graduation parties lined up to go along with their weekly Cottage shows, as well as a July show opening for well-known local musician Rob Quist at Majestic Valley Arena. They’re hoping to add a saxophone player and start playing in local bars, but before they’re ready for the bar circuit, Brabham said, they need to solve one problem.

“We need a gnarly P.A.,” Brabham said.

So until they make enough money to buy a “gnarly” sound system, they are more than happy to play any gigs available. They are “willing to negotiate for anything,” in the words of Davenport, who is the default band manager, mostly because his mother is the band’s accountant. Davenport does managerial work from his tipi.

Richard Davenport, left, and Aaron Robinson rehearse with Silver’s Platter at the Cottage Inn in Kila.

Silver’s Platter can be reached at The Cottage or at (406) 261-9190, or on the Web at www.myspace.com/silversplatter.com

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