I had a wonderful Jazz Night Out when I met up with friends at Dicks Den on Friday the 9th to see the Brett Burleson Quartet. The guitarist was celebrating a recent birthday, so the mood was high despite the cold weather. The band, which also entailed tenor saxophonist Eddie Bayard, bassist Roger Hines and drummer Ryan Jewell, played material that ventured toward the experimental at times, but was mostly buoyant funky, soulful jazz. Bayard was truly on fire that night. I didn’t catch many song titles, but at the start of a set, he uncorked a solo that was at least ten minutes long, sprawling and stretching but never running out of steam. It caught me offguard, but then I didn’t want it to end! Jewell also had some skillful solo work, putting his own funky, spacey spin on the proceedings. Based on what I saw, the show was a great night of warm tunes by fantastic players.
Shows To See This Week
Thursday, January 15th: John Allen Quartet at Dick’s Den. Young bassist Allen will be making his debut as a leader at Dick’s at this show, and will be joined by Lucas Holmes on piano, Dylan Bram on vibraphone, and Brian Ellerman on drums. The program will consist of originals written by members of the band, as well as many of their traditional jazz and contemporary favorites. Allen promises “an exciting night of new music and fresh ideas from a great young group of men,” which sounds great for a Thursday night.
Monday, January 19th: Blues for Ferguson: An MLK Day Celebration at Woodlands Tavern. The Kate Schulte Foundation, led by local poet Michael Vander Does, has put together a new program for its annual celebration of Martin Luther King Day. The show benefits the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, “America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice.” Details on the performance:
Blues for Ferguson celebrates Dr. King’s legacy by presenting artistic voices speaking out about police targeting, abuse and killings of black men, women and children. It will feature a rearrangement of “St. Louis Blues” into “St. Louis Ferguson Blues,” a juxtaposition of David Bowie’s “This is Not America” with Langston Hughes’s “Let America Be America Again,” an a cappella version of Sweet Honey in The Rock’s “Ella’s Song,” and Nina Simone’s “Young, Gifted and Black” among other pieces. Participants will include Roger Hines, Roger Myers, Brett Burleson, Randy Mather, Debra James Tucker, Ryan Jewell, Michael Vander Does, Stan Smith, Matt Adams, Vicki Saunders, John Popovich, and Naima Vander Does with a special appearance by fo/mo/deep.
Admission will be free, so all can attend. Donations will be requested.
Here’s a link to some footage of 2014’s MLK Day celebration.
Wednesday, January 21st: Kinda Blue? at Brothers Drake. Saxophonist Alex Burgoyne is using this Jazz Wednesday slot to assemble an all-star band to tackle some “blue tunes,” as well as music from the classic Miles Davis album Kind of Blue. The band includes Burgoyne on alto saxophone, Mark Donavan on tenor saxophone, Nick Simko on trumpet, Tom Davis and Aditya Jayanthi on guitar, John Allen on bass, and Dan DiPiero on drums. While some of these musicians work together often in different groupings, this is a rare chance to see them all together, and the timeless material to be used will only add to the experience.
Have a great week!