I had two good Jazz Nights Out at Dicks Den this week. On Thursday, August 21st, I saw a set of guitarist Paul Brown and a quartet of vibraphonist Ted Royalty, bassist Nathan Smith and drummer Maxwell Button. Brown was celebrating his birthday, so it was a festive atmosphere, and Brown’s first set celebrations included a block of his originals and a block of some of his favorite tunes. The opening numbers included some great solos from Royalty and some pyrotechnics from Brown over a variety of grooves. The selection of arrangements kicked off with a mellow take on “Alfie,” featuring a velvety-smooth solo from Brown. A lively rendition of John Scofield’s “Hottentot” followed, powered by fiery solos from the entire band over the driving funky groove. The last full song of the set was a mysterious run-through of “Scarborough Fair,” with the vibes taking the melody, before a minute-long burst of heavy metal fusion ended the set. The set was a good warmup for Brown’s Wednesday residency at Dick’s in September (more details next week).
On Sunday night, I stopped in for the first set of visiting NYC tenor saxophonist Tom Tallitsch and his Quartet of local players – the rhythm section of Smith and Button returned, and Lucas Holmes was on the keyboards. As the band and crowd warmed up after an early start, the first set was comprised entirely of standards. Most numbers were mid- to up-tempo, and Tallitsch boasted a fat, majestic tone on his solos. The rest of the band also sounded great on their solos, especially the nifty work of Holmes. I wished I could stay for the rest of the night, as the leader promised some of his originals and some surprises – if you saw any of that, let me know in the comments section!
Shows To See This Week
Thursday, August 28th (5:30 – 8:30pm): fo/mo/deep at Mayme Moore Park (King Arts Complex). The climactic finale of the 16th annual Heritage Concert Series was scheduled for last Thursday but was postponed due to rain. Get down to the park for some great groove-based jazz from this quartet, fresh off of their opening slot for legendary vocalist Mavis Staples at Rhythm on the River last Friday.
Thursday, August 28th: Maxwell Button Presents the Music of Bill Evans at Dick’s Den. The drummer’s monthly tribute series rolls on with a look at the influential tunes of the great jazz pianist. Button’s trio for the evening will include bassist Jeff Bass and pianist Joey Skoch. New Capital grad Skoch is heading to Chicago for graduate school, so this will likely be his last local gig for some time. Button says he is very excited about playing with these two colleagues and has been listening to Evans non-stop in preparation, so expect a great show.
Saturday, August 30th (7 – 10pm): Bobby Selvaggio Quartet House Show at 155 N. Washington Street, Delaware. After a Blakey tribute at Bungalow Jazz a few weeks ago, Cleveland-based educator and alto saxophonist Selvaggio plays his second Central Ohio house party of August on Saturday. This show will promote his newest album, Short Stories, which I’ve enjoyed thoroughly since its release. His band for the evening will include pianist Theron Brown (who will be playing Herbie Hancock in Don Cheadle’s Miles Ahead), drummer Zaire Darden, and bassist Cory Todd. This party will be hosted by Mark Corroto, a senior writer for All About Jazz. A suggested donation of $15 will get you admission and a copy of the album, which Corroto reviewed here.
Sunday, August 31st (12 – 2pm): Derek DiCenzo Trio at Natalie’s. Actually, the monthly brunch gig for DiCenzo (guitar), Dave DeWitt (bass), and Aaron Scott (drums) will just be the start of a very busy day. The same trio will play from 7 to 9 pm at Barcelona, and then Dicenzo and Scott will join tenor saxophonist Randy Mather and bassist Chris Berg for a Columbus Jazz Quartet show at Dick’s Den, starting around 10. Berg will be subbing for DeWitt, who will head off to play keyboards with the Hoo Doo Soul Band at Rumba Cafe, which is celebrating its 8th anniversary this weekend. These three will certainly earn their Labor Day.
Wednesday, September 3rd: Radarhill at Brothers Drake. When I last spoke to saxophonist Jordan Reed, the band was preparing for a big show and an Athens recording session. Reed told me this weekend that recording of their new album and video went well. For their return to Jazz Wednesday, where the band debuted, they will have a few new tunes from Reed, keyboard Caleb Miller, and bassist Eli Chambers, as well as a couple of new arrangements from groups like Radiohead and M83. The band will also be handing out its first merch item: 50 free Radarhill koozies! So get there early for a night of cinematic, modern, jazz-influenced new music.
Have a great Labor Day Weekend! Here’s a taste of Bobby Selvaggio’s Short Stories: