I had a wonderful Jazz Night Out when Rick Sanford and I saw Cory Henry’s “The Revival Project” at Woodlands Tavern on Monday, March 7th. Henry, a major cog in the now two-time Grammy-winning machine that is Snarky Puppy, is on tour in support of his new live album, The Revival, out on March 18th. He was joined on stage by a large console of keyboards, organs, and electronics, and drummer TaRon Lockett. As he explained before playing, this project is not about a particular genre or style, but about a feeling, and specifically the feeling that you get when listening to your favorite music. Therefore, I suppose it made sense that the ensuing two hours of joyous music only involved one song from the album (I believe). The material for the evening, and the delivery of that material, resulted in a sound reminiscent of a rediscovered hazy mixtape – some of Henry’s favorite bits of soulful tunes, both popular and not, blending together in real time. It was a mostly uptempo set, but with plenty of highlights, like relentless grooves, impromptu dance parties, and crowd singalongs. Henry took the opportunity to lend his vocals to the tunes at times, but it was mostly an instrumental jam between Henry’s magical machines and Lockett’s heavy yet agile drum work. This excellent show reminded me how great it is that Columbus is established on the Snarky Puppy radar – next up is Ghost-Note’s return to Woodlands on Monday, April 11th (tickets here), and a full Snarky Puppy show at Park Street Saloon on Wednesday, May 11th (tickets here).
Shows To See This Week:
Thursday, March 10th (8pm – 10pm): Chris Buzzelli with Redbird, Otterbein Faculty Jazz Combo, at Old Bag of Nails, Westerville. Acclaimed guitarist Buzzelli, director of the guitar program at Bowling Green State University, will help kickoff the Otterbein Guitar Festival. Buzzelli will be backed by Redbird, Otterbein’s all-star faculty jazz combo, in a program that “will feature mixed duo, trio, quartet, quintet and sextet arrangements of music from the Hard Bop era, especially music from Horace Silver, Art Blakey, and guitarists Kenny Burrell and Jim Hall.” This free, all ages show should be a treat!
Friday, March 11th (7:30 – 10pm): Kelly McLennan +5 at Bungalow Jazz. The Bungalow continues its hot start to its 2016 schedule with another night of great vocal jazz played by an expert ensemble. Vocalist McLennan will be making her debut at the venue, joined by Jon Eshelman on piano, Alex Burgoyne on saxophone, Tim Perdue on trumpet, Terry Douds on bass, and Zach Compston on drums. Expect “jazz standards, some springtime bossas and blues” in a well-placed night of classic tunes.
Sunday, March 13th (2 – 4pm): Christian Howes with Bobby Floyd at Via Vecchia Winery, Brewery District. This meeting of virtuosos is the last jazz show in the excellent 2015-16 City Music Columbus season. Internationally-renowned violinist Howes will return home for a special matinee performance. The recent addition of the masterful Floyd on piano is quite the bonus, and should result in a worldly concert of top-shelf jazz. Tickets are available here while they last.
Have a great week!