I had a summery Jazz Day Out when Rick Sanford and I caught a couple sets of the inaugural Village at Vanderelli Festival on Saturday the 10th. The festival presented a variety of jazz and other sounds on an outdoor stage behind The Vanderelli Room, along with a chance to see the “Idyll: Visual Poems of Her, Colored” art exhibit by David Michael Butler (and take a break from the sun) inside the gallery. The first band we saw was Seekers of Light, an improvised music ensemble with an all-star cast: Lisa Bella Donna (drums), Alex Burgoyne (saxophones), Don Volenik (trumpet, Akron), Phil Maneri (bass), and Gerard Cox (keys). There were plenty of free passages and solos, but also some jagged grooves, with the rhythm section aligned to guide the proceedings.
Up next was Watu Utongo – I have been hoping to see this project of drummer James Gaiters for some time now, so it was wonderful to finally catch them in action. While I believe the band’s sound varies depending on its instrumentation for each performance, this set was soulful hard bop and spiritual jazz with an added element – turntable sounds, samples and effects from veteran Columbus DJ Krate Digga. Alongside excellent solos from tenor saxophonist Eddie Bayard and keyboardist Chris Brown, the band’s grooving take on Bennie Maupin’s “Neophilia” included a well-placed solo by Krate Digga, which was personally unexpected but fit in perfectly. Held down by Gaiters and bassist Dwight Bailey, the unit persevered through wind gusts for an excellent set mixing a variety of styles and eras. Hope to see this festival again next year!
Shows To See This Week
Thursday, June 15th (10pm – 1am) & Friday, June 16th (9pm – midnight): Mario Bosca Quartet at Cafe Bourbon Street and Kafe Kerouac, respectively. Bassist and Columbus native Bosca is coming through town for two shows in the North Campus area. Thursday’s show will find the band added onto the monthly Jazz/Noise Collaborative Orchestra jam session at Cafe Bourbon Street, alongside Dust Holds, a new project of Caleb Miller and Eli Chambers of Radarhill. Friday’s show at Kafe Kerouac will also feature Columbus live hip-hop band Stems. Cover is $5 for Thursday and $5 is the suggested donation for Friday. Bosca was kind enough to provide insight into both sets:
The Mario Bosca Quartet on Thursday and Friday is Patrick Score (Detroit), Max Marsillo (Columbus), and Owen Hopper (Columbus). Thursday’s show, where we’ll appear alongside Caleb Miller’s project Dust Holds, will be a mostly freely improvised set where we plan to stretch and explore concepts of time and tonality, as well as to question standard conventions present in the idiom that is “jazz.” At Friday’s show, alongside Columbus band Stems, we’ll be playing a selection of my favorite tunes, choosing from sources as diverse as my originals to arrangements of Sun Ra to Norah Jones put together by myself.
Saturday, June 17th (9 – 10:30pm): Tony Monaco Trio with Harvey Mason and
Chuck Loeb Perry Hughes at the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival, Gahanna. One of many highlights of the festival’s 2017 jazz schedule is this trio of international jazz heavyweights where Columbus B3 organ hero Monaco is joined by fusion titans Mason and Hughes. Drummer, bandleader and producer Mason has released 11 albums as a leader and worked with artists including Bob James, Chick Corea, the Brecker Brothers, Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters and the Mizell Brothers. Guitarist Hughes’ career spans over four decades, including 15 years performing with Earl Klugh and tours with Bob James and Bobby Lyle. Admission for Saturday is $10 at the gate – more ticket information is available here.
Sunday, June 18th (3 – 5pm): The High Street Stompers at Inniswood Metro Gardens, Westerville. Columbus’ Dixieland institution makes its annual appearance at this Westerville park, providing a great way to celebrate Father’s Day with jazz! Active since 1987, the current lineup is a roster of Columbus jazz legends: Tom Battenberg, trumpet; Paul Robinson, banjo and vocals; Michael Cox, clarinet; Vaughn Wiester, trombone; Sid Townsend, tuba and string bass; and Jim Rupp, drums. Battenberg recently decided to hang up his trumpet for good at the end of the summer, as detailed in this recent Columbus Dispatch article, so now’s your chance to catch him in action. Swing your afternoon away with classic good time tunes and Dad – Admission is free!
Have a great week! Get a taste of Monaco and Mason together (with Chuck Loeb) in this video: