I had a wonderful Jazz Night Out when Rick Sanford and I saw Mark Lomax lead an all-star band in tribute to Ohio tenor saxophonist and theorist Logan Rollins at Notes. Rollins, a relative of the great Sonny Rollins, was an inmate in the Ohio Penitentiary who was allowed to perform, compose and record music as part of his rehabilitation. While in the Ohio Penitentiary 511 Jazz Ensemble, he and another inmate, with help from the OSU jazz band, recorded an album called Hard Luck Soul that was pressed in 1971. Reissues of the album have gained attention in recent years (read a review with more info here), leading to Lomax assembling a band to recreate the album in a performance that was recorded for a documentary to be broadcast on PBS (stay tuned!). Lomax was joined on stage by more of Ohio’s finest musicians: Cincinnati trumpeter Mike Wade and Columbus’ Eddie Bayard (tenor sax), Bobby Floyd (piano), and Dwight Bailey (bass).
The quintet brought the album’s four tunes, maybe best characterized as hard bop with some spiritual jazz influences, to vibrant life. Opener “Psych City,” is a soulful, freewheeling piece that led to excellent solos. Wade’s passage of soulful blowing had a “New Orleans meets free jazz” feel, Bayard followed with his own heavy soul, and Floyd laid down brightly shining patterns over Bailey and Lomax’s tight groove. As Lomax noted, the melody of “Mantra Dance” had more variety, with the horns in delightful counterpoint and more artful solos, including fiery fills from Lomax and an electric bass groove from Bailey. “Counterry Bosa Devan” changed the mood with a subdued nighttime vibe, with Floyd’s starry-eyed keys and beautiful harmonies between Bayard’s sax and Wade’s flugelhorn painting a pretty picture. “Java Man” rounded out the set with a return to hard bop that saw all of the players throw out all the stops for a dramatic finale. Make sure to catch the performance on WOSU – and hopefully we will see this amazing band return to a Central Ohio stage soon!
Shows to See This Week
Sunday, February 5th (3 – 5pm): “Jazz Masters Series: Ladies In Jazz” at Columbus Museum of Art. Pianist Richard Lopez’s series of Sunday afternoon concerts at the renovated museum continues by presenting a new installment of this traditional program that focuses on the contributions of women to the local and international jazz art form. Vocalist Kelly Delaveris returns to Columbus to lead the proceedings along with Mary McClendon, and the band for the afternoon includes Linda Dachtyl on drums with Tom Carroll (guitar), Terry Douds (bass) and Lopez. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $7 for students at the door, and $18 advance tickets are available here.
Sunday, February 5th (5:30 – 8pm): House Jazz Concert Series with special guest Richie Cole at Clintonville Woman’s Club. Pianist Dave Powers’ series of special performances at the Woman’s Club kicks off 2017 by spotlighting a living legend of the alto saxophone. After time with the big bands of Buddy Rich, Lionel Hampton, and Doc Severinsen, Cole launched his own international touring career that spread his “Alto Madness” style and led to the formation of his own orchestra of the same name. He has recorded over 50 albums, and also performed and recorded with Eddie Jefferson, Nancy Wilson, Tom Waits, The Manhattan Transfer, Bobby Enriquez, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Stitt, Art Pepper, and Boots Randolph. Cole, Powers, and drummer Louis Tsamous will put on a burning, swinging show that is not to be missed! Tickets are $15 at the door, doors open at $5, and the show is BYOB, with food for sale by the venue.
Wednesday, February 8th (8 – 11pm): Swingin’ Wednesdays with Solomon Douglas Quartet at Big Room Bar (Brewery District). Local swing dance organization SwingColumbus has been looking for a new home for their flagship weekly dances after the late 2016 closing of NYOH’s Buckeye Bar, and appear to have found it, at least for the month of February. Big Room Bar, which mostly hosts rock shows in its location at the CD 102.5FM studios, seems to be a well-suited location with plenty of space for dancing. This week’s installment brings a live band into the mix, with a quartet led by Douglas, a world-touring dance teacher, musician and bandleader. As a pianist, his influences include Erroll Garner, Oscar Peterson, Gene Harris, Count Basie, and Thelonious Monk. Come ready to dance! Admission is $10.
Have a great week! Get to know these artists with a sampling of videos: