Richard Sanford and I had a fantastic Jazz Night Out on Thursday, February 22nd, when we saw the opening concert in Streetlight Guild’s “Ogun Meji Duo +1” series at Art of Republic. This slate of collaborations between the time-tested pair of saxophonist Eddie Bayard and drummer Dr. Mark Lomax, II and area visual artists debuted with a vibrant painting by Bryan Christopher Moss accompanying the duo. The most enduring of many thoughts that this powerful and informative hour and a half of music, art and discussion produced for me was how visceral Bayard and Lomax’s music is, and the addition of live art took that immersive feeling to the next level. Keep reading for more on the show and previews of great live jazz.
The setlist touched on the duo’s latest release, For Those Who Have Gone, But Still Remain, with a throbbing rendition of “Albert’s Ghost Is Ringin’ Dem Bells,” paying tribute to Albert Ayler. The piece started with Lomax establishing a march tempo and Bayard’s melody matching his precision at the outset before both built up to a freeform maelstrom, that maintained some structure through a consistent momentum and echoes of the melody, before resetting with a solemn solo passage from Lomax that widened and developed into a dramatic conclusion. Other highlights included a barnburning take on Bayard’s “Ornette’s Theory,” as well as Lomax’s discussion of the duo’s conversational process and the legacy of their Columbus musical ancestors. I strongly recommend catching one or more of these events before the series ends this summer – up next is a performance with Hakim Callwood on March 29th (series details here).
Shows To See This Week
Friday, March 2nd (6 to 8pm): Brandon Coleman Trio at Filament at The Vanderelli Room. The result of changes with the gig the trio originally booked for Friday is a newly scheduled show at promoter Gerard Cox’s intimate art space and listening lounge. Cincinnati guitarist Coleman, who sounded terrific with Sam Blakeslee’s group at the Clintonville Woman’s Club recently, and his longtime Queen City rhythm section of bassist Matt Wiles and drummer Jeff Mellott will, according to Coleman, “be playing a healthy selection of new original material.” The event will also include a Q&A session and pizza (for a small donation). The suggested donation for attendance is $5 to $10. More details here. Coleman tells me that “we are excited to play in Columbus for the first time in a while and hope to see a lot of familiar and new faces,” so this should be a lively way to kickstart your weekend, as well as a busy weekend at the venue. Keyboardist Caleb Miller leads the first Filament Listening Session Saturday at 2pm (more details here) and an exciting triple bill of improvised music, topped by a live music and art “synthetic conversation” between painter AJ Vanderelli and bassist Mario Bosca, takes place Saturday starting at 8pm (full details here). Get down to Franklinton for Filament’s unique jazz programming!
Sunday, March 4th (3 to 5pm): Richard Lopez’s Jazz Master Sessions: Ryan Hamilton and Vaughn Wiester: Trombone Double Trouble at Columbus Museum of Art. Pianist Lopez’s series of high-level thematic concerts in the lovely setting of the art museum continues with this look at classic trombone duo material led by two of Columbus’ finest on the instrument. As Lopez says, the program will focus on “the music of J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding and other famous two trombone collaborations. We’ll feature lots of ‘fun’ charts from the two trombone world.” Lopez will be joined in the rhythm section by bassist Doug Richeson and drummer Jim Rupp. See an all-star quintet tackle some lesser heard tunes with aplomb. Tickets and more details are available here.
Wednesday, March 7th (9 to 11pm): Lisa Bella Donna: International Women’s Day Show at Natalie’s. Virtuosic multi-instrumentalist, composer, modular synthesist, and clinician Bella Donna has assembled a great band for this special program that celebrates International Women’s Day, which is March 8th. Bella Donna (keyboards/guitar) will be joined on the bandstand by regular collaborators Stan Smith (guitar), Jim Tussing (bass), and Justin Campbell (drums). Expect adventurous, forward-looking jazz fusion from a cohesive quartet of talented musicians. Tickets and more details are available here.
Have a great week! Prepare with videos from some of the featured performers: