JazzColumbus Weekly – April 14, 2016

I had a couple fun Jazz Nights Out at Dick’s Den last week. On Wednesday, April 6th, Richard Sanford, my dad and I caught some of the opening night of organist Linda Dachtyl’s April Residency at Dick’s Den. Dachtyl was joined by her standard trio of Don Hales on guitar and Cary Dachtyl on drums, along with Fred Gablick on tenor and baritone saxes. The quartet cranked out excellent soul jazz and blues, with tributes to mentors like Hank Marr (a soulful, saturated “Tenderly”) and Gene Walker. The homage to the latter was a cooking rendition of “Trouble,” with dynamic solos from Gablick (tenor), Hales and Linda preceding a vamp that slipped into a gospel-inspired double-time romp. From what I heard, Dachtyl’s residency got off to a great start, and your attendance over the rest of the month is strongly recommended.

On Thursday the 7th, I was back at “The One and Only” for a late show by Sammy Miller and the Congregation. Having just played a sold-out dinner show at the Refectory, the NYC outfit was ready to rock. An introduction of “The Entertainer” featuring David Linard on keyboard soon gave way to an ecstatic entrance by the horns from separate corners of the bar, and they were off! The band’s two sets of “joyful jazz” caused a frenzy on the stage and in the audience, with tunes like “Li’l Liza Jane” featuring excited vocals and emphatic solos. It was quite a treat to see an energetic group of rising stars in the friendly confines of Dick’s.

Shows To See This Week

Friday, April 15th (8pm – 11pm): Watu Utungo (James Gaiters Quartet) at New Harvest Cafe & Urban Arts Center. The jazz schedule at this Linden arts center continues to heat up with this new band led by drummer Gaiters. The core group is filled out by Eddie Bayard on tenor saxophone, DJ Krate Digga on turntables and loops, and Joshua Ryan on bass. Vocals will be handled by a very talented committee of vocalists Renee Dion and Ashley Watson plus MC Speak Williams. As Gaiters told me, Watu Utongo means “rhythmic people” in Swahili. With this quartet, instead of numerous chord changes, the music is focused more on rhythm and bass grooves, a modal approach that opens up new possibilities for harmony and exploratory improvisation. One unique facet of their sound is that Krate Digga will carry some of the harmonic duties with his turntables, tasks that would normally be handled by a keyboardist. Gaiters tells me that this overall approach creates interesting textures, and the band will play a mix of originals and rearranged covers. Admission is $10 at the door.

Sunday, April 17th (2:30pm – 5:30pm): Dave Greer’s Classic Jazz Stompers at Makoy Center, Hilliard. The penultimate show in Central Ohio Hot Jazz Society‘s strong Spring season features these Dayton-based purveyors of classic traditional jazz. Bandleader Greer (Banjo, Tenor Guitar, Vocals) formed the band in the late 1980s, and it has gone on to entertain crowds throughout the region and as far away as Belgium! Admission for this swingin’ time is as follows: $15 for COHJS members; $10 for Dance Club members & college students; $20 for non-members (membership is available at the door!).

Wednesday, April 20th (8pm – 11pm): Foxtet at Brothers Drake. Led by drummer Dan Fox, this quartet will be making its debut appearance at the meadery for another exciting and FREE Jazz Wednesday show. Fox will be joined by a top-notch cast of Eddie Bayard on tenor saxophone, Melvin Rogers on trumpet, and Greg Wolfram on bass. As Fox told me, “Well, we’ll be playing some stuff that swings of course, there will be a blues or two and solos. Definitely solos. Mel might sing a bit as well. Come out and witness the magic!”

Have a great week! Here are Greer’s Stompers in action:

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