Dick’s Den Residency: Maxwell Button

The April installment of the Dick’s Den Wednesday Residency program presents a weekly lineup of Columbus (and Dick’s) jazz favorites led by drummer Maxwell Button. Music will start each Wednesday around 9:30pm, and cover is $5. Keep reading for Button’s thoughts on what Dick’s represents to him and insights into his four bands.

Maxwell Button: “When I started playing at Dick’s Den, Ron Yednock was the guy you had to impress if you wanted to book your own gigs. He had an old school taste for straight-ahead jazz. Nowadays, things are more open and musicians (myself included!) are playing some crazy shit in there. And while I appreciate the opportunity to explore different avenues, I usually just want to play straight-ahead jazz at Dick’s Den. Maybe I’m being naive but it seems like there was a special clarity inherent in 1950’s and 60’s jazz. There were no Facebook pages to create a second version of your ‘self’ and no personality to display through any other medium than your own musical instrument. Many musicians had shitty day jobs and were treated like second class citizens because of their skin color. The music they created is an honest, no bullshit music and Dick’s Den is an honest, no bullshit place. I think Ron Yednock felt the directness present in straight-ahead jazz too. He was a good guy and I’m sure many of us miss seeing him sitting by the stairs next to the stage listening with a smile on his face.

The first three weeks of my residency will feature bands that play tunes and really swing. The last week will be more experimental (Ron may not have liked what we’re going to do!). I’ve played over 400 gigs at Dick’s Den and learned more about music there than anywhere else. Thanks to everyone who continues to make it hum with personality and openness.

Wednesday, April 4th: Quintet with Matt Adams [sax], Tony Bonardi [keyboards], Matt Paetsch [bass] and Brett Burleson [guitar]. I’m thankful to these dudes because when I started playing jazz they took an interest and gave me the opportunity to figure out some important musical things.

April 11th: Quartet with Nate Anders on vibes, Colin Lazarski on guitar and Derek DiCenzo on bass. There is such good chemistry with this group, everyone listens real good.

April 18th: Trio with Colin Lazarski [guitar] and Nathan Smith [bass]. This trio has been playing a regular weekly restaurant gig [Tuesdays at Local Roots] for a while now and we’ve been working out lots of arrangements. I’m looking forward to playing them a little louder than usual!

April 25th: Duo with Zakk Jones [guitar]. Zakk and I will explore new dimensions, challenge several timeless universal principles and gently peel back the layers of your consciousness.”

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