Las Vegas Sun

December 6, 2021

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Tower of Power with the Lon Bronson All-Stars? That is hip

Horn-driven bands converge for ‘hang of the century’

They answered the eternal question on Thursday night:

What is hip?

As always, hip is the Lon Bronson All-Star Band feeding a heaping helping of soul music to a packed house of followers.

Hip is five members of Tower of Power – Stephen “Doc” Kupka, Francis “Rocco” Prestia, Larry Braggs, Tom Politzer and Adolpho Acosta – showing up in Vegas a day early to sit in with their friends.

Hip is baritone saxes Kupka and Garrett Hypes bookending what was sometimes a 10-piece horn section.

Hip is Politzer trading tenor sax solos with Joe Escriba of the Bronson Band. Major squealage indeed.

Hip is Prestia – and his deceptively funky bass lines.

Hip is free.

“Man, this is getting to be a gig. I’m sweating,” said TOP vocalist Braggs as he pulled off his jacket at the end of a smoking rendition of “What Is Hip?” and launched into a “Soul Vaccination” at the end of a more than hour-long guest appearance.

The Bronson All-Stars obviously loved playing with their mentors. And they rolled through some tunes off “Doc Does Vegas,” an as-yet unreleased collaboration with Kupka and other TOP members.

Bronson called it “the hang of the century. A-plus hang.”

Judging from smiles plastered of their faces, the fans who packed Sunset Station’s Club Madrid agreed.

What is hip?

Hip is the fact that if you missed last night, you can still get your dose of funk.

Tower of Power plays the Orleans Showroom tonight through Sunday.

Bronson’s band plays again at 8 p.m. Sunday at the Ovation Lounge at Green Valley Ranch.

P.S.: Here’s one vote to make “Sin City,” the new tune by the Bronson All-Stars, the official song of the city. Are you listening, Oscar?

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