I had a wonderful Jazz Night Out when I went to the Park Street Tavern Tuesday Jazz Jam 10th birthday party on the 18th. The house band, led by Pete Mills, and the venue has worked hard to establish and maintain a great night for the jazz audience and musicians alike, and the large, enthusiastic crowd was testament to their dedication. I arrived for the tail end of the first set, which featured pianist Erik Augis making a return to the lineup as he recovers from health issues – it was a treat to hear him play again. The open jam second set brought a wide variety of established and lesser-known jazz talent to the stage, including a bevy of saxophonists, leading to some great temporary combos.
A lineup with a three tenor sax front line featuring two out-of-town visitors – Mills, Dominic Carioti (see below), and Billy Wolfe – accompanied by Robert Mason on piano, David Wolbert on bass, and Zach Compston on drums delivered an excellent take on Thelonious Monk’s “Rhythm-A-Ning.” Kenny Dorham’s “Blue Bossa” was also rendered in excellent style by Sicquan Gipson on alto sax, Wolfe on tenor, Tom Davis on guitar, Mark Goodwin on piano, Mario Bosca on bass, and Ryan Folger on drums. Backed by Hayes Griffin on guitar, Danny Bauer on piano, John Allen on bass, and Daniel Fox on drums, vocalist Quinn Griffin turned in a smoldering version of “God Bless the Child.” The final tune of the night (didn’t catch the name) unfurled a parade of saxophone solos that ran headlong into a ragtime breakdown by pianist Bauer and star turns by bassist John Allen and drummer Compston. It was an excellent way to wrap up the jam’s first decade, and they show no signs of slowing down! Pianist Bobby Floyd will be the featured guest when the jam starts its second decade on August 25th.
Shows To See This Week
Thursday, August 20th: Stan Smith + at Carabar. Guitarist Smith marks his return from a lengthy trip out west with the first of two consecutive Thursdays he will lead a quartet in this weekly series of jazzy shows. For this week, he will be joined by Adam Smith on keyboards, Roger Hines on bass, and Ryan Jewell on drums, while the band on the 27th will bring Steve Perakis and Danny Aguiar to the stage in place of Hines and Jewell, respectively. As Stan Smith told me, “We’ll be playing mostly my music. There will be some interpretations of others’ music and some improvised pieces as well.” This looks like a great relaxed setting for improvisational adventure.
Saturday, August 22nd (7 – 10pm): Richard Lopez Trio at Hyde Park Restaurant (Arlington). Pianist Lopez also returns to local action this week after spending time in points west, and will entertain the dining crowd with his longtime trio members Roger Hines on bass and Matt Wagner on drums. As Lopez told me,
Roger, Matt and I play a lot as a trio, so we have some really cool, tight arrangements of Ellington and Bud Powell tunes and some new Brazilian tunes that I’ve been into. I have several original tunes that we play so I’ll bring those out as well. I’ve been in Taos, New Mexico for almost a month! So I’m going to salsa-fy/Latin-ize several of my favorite standards. My bandmates on this gig are so versatile and accomplished…we’re going to have a blast!
Sunday, August 23rd (3 – 6pm): Zarrilli Trio at Wolf’s Ridge Brewing Tap Room, 215 North Fourth Street. This downtown brewery recently initiated a weekly series of Sunday afternoon performances in its tap room, and this week’s show marks the first jazz installment. For this version of his trio, drummer Mike Zarrilli will be joined by Dominic Carioti on saxophones and Bradley Mellen on bass. Zarrilli filled me in on some of the details for this particular performance:
Dominic is from Youngstown, Ohio, graduated from Ohio State and then went to grad school at Eastern Michigan. We used to play often when he attended Ohio State a few years back. We will be playing originals by both Brad and Dominic, as well as some standards infused with a modern style.
Have a great week! Here’s a selection of videos (of various vintages) highlighting some of the musicians playing in town this week: