Hello jazz fans! After a strong January for jazz, February looks to have even more to offer, so, as always, keep an eye on our Jazz Calendar and email newsletter! Not much on my news radar (stay tuned though), so let’s get into it.
A Jazz Night Out
On Wednesday the 29th, I descended on Natalie’s for the debut of the From the Five Jazztet. I was excited for this new formation of top Columbus jazz talent, and I was not disappointed. The near-capacity crowd was treated to ten tunes (plus an outro), boasting some of Mark Flugge’s tasty originals and an excellent list of standards. My first time hearing Chicago trumpet/flugelhorn player (and Capital professor) Rob Parton was very enjoyable: he easily traded lines with Randy Mather on Flugge’s “Soiree,” his muted trumpet (and Mather’s sax) evoked a Sunday stroll on Thad Jones’ “Evol Deklaw Ni,” and his flugelhorn was elegantly smooth on the original ballad “Compassion For All.” Between the end of the first set and the start of the second, the band played three consecutive Horace Silver tunes, including an extraordinarily smokin’ rendition of “Filthy McNasty.” Though not a particularly jazzy sentiment, one of the virtues of this performance for me was its clinically precise timing: the show started at 9, there was a ~15 minute break between sets, and the second set ended at 11. As a man with a day job, such a show is always appreciated. This was a great weeknight of jazz, and the From the Five Jazztet is a welcomed addition to the Columbus jazz scene.
Shows To See This Week
Thursday, February 6th: Brian Lang at Dicks Den. Saxophonist Lang’s group for this gig will be his normally percussion-less Rorschach Trio (which also consists of Dean Marcellana on keys and Greg Wolfram on bass) plus drummer Ryan Jewell. His trio is a regular act at Worthington Inn, but this augmented performance should expose a different side of the group, playing a batch of originals and an eclectic assortment of arrangements of material ranging from Brad Mehldau and the Bad Plus to Jeff Buckley and Rage Against the Machine.
Saturday, February 8th: fo/mo/deep at Verne’s on 161 Restaurant & Lounge. Our local groove scientists went into the studio recently, and according to early reports, the new album should be great. The band plays their first full show of 2014 at Verne’s, now offering a selection of live music alongside “the best in casual dining experience for the mature adult scene.”
Sunday, February 9th: Evan Oberla Project at Dick’s Den. In a welcomed nod to the working crowd, Sunday night shows at Dick’s now run from 8pm to 12am. The earlier hour and the cozy environs will present a somewhat novel setting for the party sounds of EOP, in contrast to recent gigs like the Bass Jam at Skullys.
Wednesday, February 12th: Jason Branscum at Brothers Drake. Trombonist Branscum, veteran of Playhouse and multitudes of other jazz, funk, and soul projects, brings his own trio, including guitarist Aaron Quinn and drummer Seth Daily, to Jazz Wednesday. Branscum tells us to expect “original, mostly jazzy tunes…both loud and quiet.” What I’ve heard from the group has definitely explored the range of dynamics and textures, and should be an engaging listen.
See you next week!