I had a great Jazz Night Out when I made two stops on Wednesday the 3rd. First up was Brothers Drake, where Nashville’s MVT was playing the last Jazz Wednesday before the meadery’s stage is removed and renovated. The trio’s sleek and efficient fusion grooves bore plenty of electronic and neo soul influences, resulting in powerfully soulful tunes. Looking forward to jazz returning to Brothers Drake soon! Up next was Rumba Cafe for the opening night of drummer Tony McClung’s August residency. The reunion of a past iteration of the Bobby Floyd organ trio with Floyd and guitarist Joshua Hill was very enjoyable, featuring abundant classic soul jazz grooves along with additional twists and turns. The first set ended with a burning take on Jimmy Smith’s “Back at the Chicken Shack” that illustrated what McClung meant by “Hearing Josh and Bobby together is a REAL treat.” Floyd soloed first, with a smoking passage that electrified the crowd. While this placed Hill in an unenviable position, he didn’t back down – instead he unleashed his own rocking blues solo that garnered more love from the audience. Come to Rumba on Wednesdays in August (except for the 24th) for great sounds from McClung and his rotating cast of friends!
Shows To See This Week
Sunday, August 14th (8 – 11pm): Big Sam’s Funky Nation at Woodlands Tavern. Trombonist (and vocalist) Big Sam Williams, who debuted with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band at the age of 19, has led his own jazz-funk outfit, which puts a modern spin of the sound of his native New Orleans, for over a decade. The band’s energetic blend of funk, rock, jazz, and more has earned acclaim in New Orleans and throughout the world, especially on the festival circuit. Expect a passionate and invigorating show from this quintet that also includes Andrew “Da Phessah” Baham on trumpet and vocals, Chocolate Milk on drums, Jerry “JBlakk” Henderson on bass, and Seizo Shibayama on guitar and vocals. Tickets are available here.
Monday, August 15th (7:30 – 10pm): Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra featuring Jeff Hamilton at Clintonville Woman’s Club. Internationally renowned drummer Hamilton (photo by Alex Solca) returns to town for an extra-exciting installment of the FJO’s weekly gig in Clintonville. With an astounding resume of accomplishments and collaborators (Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald, Diana Krall and Barbra Streisand, for starters), Hamilton continues to play with his own trio, along with other prestigious gigs like holding down the drum chair for the Monty Alexander Trio where he is joined by bassist John Clayton. Expect a barnburning celebration of classic big band material. Cover is $15 for this special event, and attendees are advised to arrive early to get good seats.
Thursday, August 18th (10pm – 2am): The Skyliners at Dick’s Den. This show marks the debut of a new trio of talented jazz/blues/jam musicians and frequent collaborators: Ian Carroll on guitar, Mitchell Deitrick on electric and upright bass, and Joshua Heber on drums. Covering “all corners of jazz and blues,” the band promises a setlist ranging “from Django Reinhardt to George Benson, and from Miles Davis all the way up to Soulive,” and will be joined by special guests. This looks to be a relaxed/relaxing night of eclectic jazz, and a bargain for the $4 cover.
Have a great week! Here’s a few videos to start your explorations of this week’s featured artists: