I had a nice, though brief, Jazz Night Out when I caught the first set of the Dick’s Den debut of the John Allen Quartet on Thursday the 15th. Even early on, there was a big, loud crowd that was responsive to the band’s stately takes on standards. The vibraphone of Dylan Bram often took the lead, unleashing hectic yet radiant solos on a Thelonious Monk tune and Dave Holland’s “Jacob’s Ladder.” Bassist Allen cited Holland as one of his main inspirations, and his confidently striding lines showed that he had learned some valuable lessons from such masters. Pianist Lucas Holmes came through strong, especially on ballads like “Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams,” and drummer Brian Ellerman was very solid behind the kit. I wish I could have stayed to see some of the original tunes promised for later in the evening, but the set I saw showed a sincere, talented young quartet.
Shows To See This Week
Friday, January 23rd: Magically Delicious at Bungalow Jazz. A rare show for this quartet of local jazz veterans that fuses a multitude of styles into one heady brew. Should sound great in the intimate confines of the bungalow. From Andy Woodson:
Magically Delicious is a group of musicians based in Columbus, Ohio that focuses on the arrangements and the original compositions of the members. Michael Cox and Kris Keith form the front line on various woodwinds (tenor, alto, soprano, and baritone saxes; bass clarinet, flute, alto flute), with Andy Woodson (acoustic and electric bass) and Tony McClung (drums) in the rhythm section. Not content to play in only one jazz style, Magically Delicious goes from straight ahead jazz to Brazilian, funk, and beyond.
Sunday, January 25th: Insane Jazz Posse at Dick’s Den. Sunday’s gig is the first for bassist Ben Johnson’s quirky jazz collective in 3 months, after an enjoyable Halloween show at Brothers Drake. As that was departing guitarist Aaron Quinn’s last show, the band sought and found a great replacement: Aditya Jayanthi, who has recently returned to town. The band’s clever repertoire of original tunes and arrangements of ’90s pop songs has recently expanded to include some ’80s pop tunes as well as a “darker/angrier” new tune that Johnson just wrote this week, based on a familiar chord structure. These additions should further strengthen setlists that may look wacky on paper but come out as intricate modern jazz imbued with plenty of nostalgia. Check their Bandcamp page to get a better idea of their sound.
Wednesday, January 28th (8-10pm): Jay Miglia and Dean Marcellana at Riley Auditorium (inside Battelle Fine Arts Center), Otterbein University. Saxophonist Miglia will be presenting a faculty recital where he and pianist Marcellana will focus on pieces based in the Third Stream approach, characterized by “classical notation influenced by a jazz aesthetic that includes chord based improvisation.” The program will include pieces by Bill Dobbins, Bob Mintzer, Raymon Ricker, and Alfred Desenclos, and should be an interesting combination of jazz and classical styles in a perfectly-suited room.
Have a great week! Here are a few live Magically Delicious videos to get you in the mood: