First off this week, I want to congratulate Dicks Den on the bar’s 50th anniversary! In its typical low-key fashion, the occasion was celebrated with a Sunday happy hour performance by cover band Jamburger that packed the place to the gills. I’m very thankful for all of the past, current, and future contributions that Dick’s makes to the local jazz scene, so here’s to fifty more! Secondly, my itinerary last week took me to a handful of brief Jazz Nights Out, so let’s get into those. On Wednesday the 3rd, I saw the first set of saxophonist Kris Keith’s quintet at Rumba Cafe. Keith currently leads a monthly gig on the first Wednesday of every month there, and the tunes I heard were mostly light and Latin-tinged, with Keith on the flute. The highlight for me was the most energetic tune of the set, an amped-up take on Charles Lloyd’s “Sweet Georgia Bright” that featured great solos from Keith on tenor sax, guitarists Stan Smith and Leo Morales, and drummer Chris Guthrie.
On Friday the 5th, I caught some of Elephant Wrecking Ball’s performance at Scarlet & Grey Cafe. The Brooklyn band’s “dub jazz science” sound, led by the effects-laden trombone of Scott Flynn, was equally entertaining to the jam band fans as well as the jazzier ears in the bar. On the way home, I finally saw a full set of singer Jon Coleman’s band at Dick’s Den. His opening trio of songs at Matt Paetsch’s Halloween benefit were probably my favorite “set” of that evening, so I was happy to have the opportunity to see Coleman sing more comfortable material. He and his all-star band churned through a handful of great standards, but I think I most enjoyed his rendition of Elvis Costello’s “Alison.” As one who doesn’t see many jazz vocalists perform, this cozy set was a friendly reminder of what I’ve been missing.
Shows To See This Week
Thursday, December 11th (6:30 – 11pm): Rick Brunetto Big Band at 94th Aero Squadron, 5030 Sawyer Road, Columbus. One of the longest-running big bands in Central Ohio, Brunetto’s outfit celebrated the 25th anniversary of its weekly gig at the East Side restaurant this past June. This Thursday is the band’s Christmas show, which includes a buffet dinner and REINDEER GAMES. The band will employ three singers, Tia Harris, Michael Phillips and Chuck Gillespie, for a varied holiday extravaganza. The price is $28 for dinner, show and dancing. Reservations are required – Call 614-237-8887 for details.
Friday, December 12th (7:30 – 10:30pm): Dave DeWitt TRio Christmas Party at Bungalow Jazz. The band’s annual Christmas show kicks off a run of holiday-themed concerts at one of Columbus’ most intimate jazz venues. The show is always a warm seasonal gathering for the Columbus jazz community, and this year should be no exception. The trio of DeWitt on piano, Derek DiCenzo on bass, and Aaron Scott on drums will entertain with festive favorites. For additional cheer, check out the Bobby Floyd Trio (Floyd on piano, DiCenzo on bass, and Reggie Jackson on drums) at the Bungalow on Wednesday, December 17th at 7:30.
Wednesday, December 17th: Lisa Clark-Augis & Friends at Natalie’s. Esteemed local singer, composer, writer, teacher and musical storyteller Clark-Augis has planned a special event for the Christmas season. The program will feature some swinging seasonal tunes and classic holiday favorites in keeping with the tradition of classic vocalists. She will be joined by a great rhythm section along with some familiar special guests. It sounds like Clark-Augis has something extra-special up her sleeve, so this should be a spectacle to witness.
Have a great week! Go out and get some holiday jazz!