Richard Sanford and I had a great Jazz Day Out when we saw the 5th Annual Mark Flugge Jazz Memorial Concert on Sunday the 21st. The concert started on a picturesque note with Abhik Mazumder’s debut of his new solo piece in tribute to Flugge entitled “Mockingbird,” rendered in stately style with tasteful flourishes by the prodigious pianist. Tenor saxophonist Steven Sinclair was honored as the fourth recipient of the Capital University Mark Flugge Jazz Award, and his duet take on Jobim’s “Wave” with pianist Julian Dittmer (2017 award winner) showcased the talents of both performers on the timeless breezy melody. Other highlights of the first half included the premiere of Andy Frederick’s beautiful “Flugge Jazz Fantasy” for flute quartet by Ohio’s own world-class quartet PANdemonium 4, and the focused whimsy of Flugge’s “Erika Kristen” by Spectrum, the Capital faculty jazz ensemble, with a strikingly radiant intro by pianist Tony Bonardi. Keep reading for more on the concert and previews of another great week of live jazz.
The second half of this year’s concert featured the debut of the Mark Flugge Memorial Big Band, featuring a star-studded cast of Flugge’s friends and collaborators performing commissioned arrangements of Flugge tunes, on a set that was recorded as part of a planned 2019 release. “Action Planet” got the proceedings rolling with its zesty Latin swing, replete with thrilling stabs of big band majesty and excellent solos by Michael Cox on tenor sax, Lisa Jelle on flute, and Jim Rupp on drums. Guest pianist Bill Dobbins, a world-renowned virtuoso who taught Flugge, contributed a bluesy passage on his arrangement of “Around Every Corner,” which married a loose feel with the tight precision of a top-notch ensemble and also spotlighted the power of bass trombonist Jeff Banyots. Paul Ferguson’s arrangement of “Dear Bill” paid loving tribute to Bill Evans with the able assistance of Dobbins, guitarist Stan Smith, and Jelle, while closer “Feeling, Not Words” rode the power of the band’s horns to a majestic swing before an explosive finale. Thanks to Capital and the Mark Flugge Memorial Fund for another excellent tribute to a legend gone too soon – can’t wait for next year!
Shows To See This Week
Friday, January 26th (8 – 11pm): Emerald City Swing Orchestra at Emerald City Ballroom, Dublin. After a month off for the holidays, one of the area’s finest big bands returns to its monthly “Big Band Night” at “Columbus’ Home For Ballroom Dancing.” The 20 piece orchestra plays a dance-friendly playlist for these events, with styles including foxtrot, tango, cha cha, swing, waltz, mambo, rumba, hustle and more. Admission cost is $16 for nonmembers and only $6 with the member discount, and you may BYOB for a $5 charge. The evening starts with a group class at 7:15pm for an additional $3. Head to Dublin for a fun night of dancing to the classics!
Sunday, January 28th (6 – 8pm): Bobby Floyd Showcase with
Carl Sally Randy Mather at Notes. Preeminent pianist Floyd, who recently released a new album (review forthcoming!), and his stalwart trio of bassist Derek DiCenzo and drummer Reggie Jackson are leading their weekly showcase into another year. This week’s event features evergreen Columbus saxophonist Randy Mather. Enjoy high-powered classic soulful jazz from these four masters, and catch a jam session involving more area talents to end the night. Tickets and more info are available here.
Thursday, February 1st (10pm – 2am): Concurrence at Dick’s Den. Nashville’s Concurrence is co-led by keyboardist Paul Horton, a touring member of soulful rock band Alabama Shakes, and electric bassist Greg Bryant. They recently released their debut full-length release With Brotherhood, which they recorded with drummer Tommy Crane. The album is a varied slab of modern, worldly jazz that fuses a range of influences. The leaders definitely share a strong connection, but are also ready to head off on a solo exploration on a moment’s notice. Check out an exciting traveling act in the cozy confines of “The One and Only” for a mere $5! Sample and purchase With Brotherhood here.
Have a great week! Get a taste of some of this week’s featured musicians via video: