I had a fantastic Jazz Night Out when I saw the Terell Stafford Quintet at the Lincoln Theatre on Thursday the 12th. Presented by Jazz Arts Group in collaboration with the King Arts Complex, the concert was an emphatic finale to the KAC’s “MLK: 50 Years Later” celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The program largely drew from the immense catalog of legendary trumpeter Lee Morgan, to whom Stafford paid tribute on 2015’s Brotherlee Love. Opener “Trapped” swung hard, with Stafford’s trumpet heavy and blazing, saxophonist Tim Warfield starting lighter but dancing into a fervor, pianist Bruce Barth issuing forth grand bursts and runs, and drummer Billy Williams delivering a high speed drum set workout. Morgan’s “Candy” was rendered as a duet by Stafford and Barth, with the former warm in the melody role and humorous on his solo, and Barth alternating between delicate and emphatic. Keep reading for more thoughts on the show as well as previews of Ali Affleck in from Scotland, the return of the From the Five Jazztet and Record Store Day jazz at Elizabeth’s!
The second set opened with original tune “Favor,” passionately introduced by the bandleader, who opened with a high and searching solo before joining Warfield on the slinky melody, and the tune ended with a rugged yet peaceful passage from bassist Peter Washington. Morgan’s “Mr. Kenyatta” took Stafford and Washington back to their jazz roots, and the spirited piece displayed the unit’s cohesiveness, as they would insert full band quotes of other tunes in the midst of solos. The concert ended with JAG’s own talented staff Pete Mills and Zach Compston joining the band for “Speedball,” which was a feisty blowing session blues with excellent solos from the guests and the quintet. The brotherly love of Stafford and his bandmates was a joy to behold, and the concert was a beautiful way to end the MLK celebration and the JAG Presents season. I’m already ready for next year!
Shows To See This Week
Friday, April 20th (7 – 10pm): Ali Affleck at Loose Rail Brewing, Canal Winchester. Scottish vocalist Affleck is ending her Spring Tour stateside with a two-night stand put together by Columbus guitarist Tom Davis. Back home in Edinburgh, where Davis has spent considerable time over the years, early jazz historian and bandleader Ali “has earned a solid reputation as the ‘go to’ vocalist for authentic trad Jazz and prohibition era blues. She is a resident musician at Edinburgh’s Famous Jazz bar on Chambers Street and this is where she hosts her trademark ‘Speakeasy Sessions'” live band swing dances. See her live on BBC here. She will be joined for her two sets at this intimate tap room by Davis on guitar, Jay Miglia on clarinet and sax, and Nathan Smith on bass. No cover for a transatlantic getdown! The show moves to Dick’s Den Saturday night, where the band adds Zakk Jones on guitar and cover is $5.
Friday, April 20th (10pm – 2am): From The Five Jazztet at Dick’s Den. This hard bop-minded all-star quintet returns for its first show since 2016. With a bit of a revamped lineup since their last time out, the band will bring Randy Mather (sax), Jim Powell (trumpet), Mark Rubinstein (piano), Derek DiCenzo (bass) and Aaron Scott (drums) to the cozy stage. Expect to hear classic bop tunes from the 1950s-1960s golden era of Blue Note Records and more, with a catalog that has included the music of Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Clifford Jordan, Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Cedar Walton, Cannonball Adderley, Michael Brecker and Mark Flugge. Cover is $5 for a fun Friday night with cheap drinks and top-notch live jazz at “The One and Only.”
Saturday, April 21st (4- 6pm): Record Store Day: Stan Smith and Lisa Bella Donna Duo & The John Evan Band at Elizabeth’s Records, Clintonville. Saturday is Record Store Day (RSD), an annual event at independent record stores city- and nationwide that celebrates record store culture with special releases and much more. Several stores around town are presenting live music, and one of them that will have a strong jazz element is Elizabeth’s, near Studio 35 on Indianola Avenue. Instrumental improv outfit John Evan Band (named after Jethro Tull’s pianist) plays at 4pm, followed by a very talented duo of longtime collaborators – Guitarist Smith and multi-instrumentalist Bella Donna – with what will surely be an open-minded fusion-leaning performance. Elizabeth’s will NOT be selling RSD product, but is offering 20% off on used vinyl storewide all day (10am – 7pm). Their varied inventory includes one of the best selections of used jazz records in town – stay tuned here for an upcoming feature – so drop by this FREE event for adventurous live music and take some tunes home with you! More details here.
Have a great week! Check out video from some of our featured artists to prepare: