I had a wonderful early Jazz Night Out when Richard Sanford and I saw the OH-NY Connection (photo by Sanford) happy hour show at Brothers Drake on March 15th. Ohio natives John Lake (trumpet) and Steve Kortyka (tenor sax) drew a lively crowd of family and friends for two sets of well-chosen standards and originals. After walking in to a yet untitled original by Lake, I was thrilled to hear one of my all-time favorite tunes, “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was.” The interplay between the front line players was cohesive and well-seasoned over the lively rhythm section – Columbus’ own Nathan Smith and Maxwell Button – and the ensemble contributed artful solos. After a passionate take on “Maiden Voyage” bolstered by keyboardist Dan Karlsberg’s soulful Rhodes solo, the first set ended with a reading of Joe Henderson’s “Shade of Jade.” The precision front line attack added Columbus’ Ben Crowder on trombone for a searing version, with fiery solos from Kortyka, Crowder and Lake. Keep reading for thoughts on the second set plus previews of Crowder’s BC6 Art Blakey tribute, The Peter & Will Anderson Trio (NYC) and the debut of Soulfield!
After songs including a lovely ballad, the band hit a funky high note on Eddie Harris’ “Cold Duck Time,” with the slinky uptempo rhythm powering soulful blowing and more great Rhodes from Karlsberg. Cedar Walton’s “Hindsight” employed a striking melody that swung hard before the finale of Wayne Shorter’s composition for the Jazz Messengers, “Children of the Night.” Kortyka’s swinging lead paved the way for finesse from the horn section which again added Crowder. Lake, Kortyka, Crowder, Karlsberg and Button unleashed masterful solos, and another round of beautiful horn interplay ended a performance that was over too soon. It was an excellent slab of high-powered straight-ahead Ohio jazz led by talented NYC transplants – hope to see them again soon!
Shows To See This Week
Friday, March 22nd (7:30 – 10:30pm): The BC6: “The Music of Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers” at Filament at the Vanderelli Room, Franklinton. Filament continues to showcase a wealth of regional talent in myriad jazz styles and beyond. Trombonist/bandleader Ben Crowder will lead his sextet, which also brings to the stage Ian Harrah (trumpet), Terrance Farmer (tenor saxophone), David Swank (piano), Will Strickler (bass) and Willie Barthel (drums). Prepare for a lively two-set journey through Blakey’s legendary catalog, “including such gems as ‘Calling Ms. Khadija,’ ‘It’s a Long Way Down,’ ‘The Egyptian,’ ‘Free for All’ and more!” This will surely be a night of “full-bodied, swinging, anthemic jazz” – I recently saw a quintet version of the band tackle originals and an exquisite turn on Benny Golson’s “Stablemates” that showcased Crowder and Farmer’s undeniable chemistry, so adding Harrah’s trumpet should increase the feeling! BYOB, $10 suggested donation (pay what you can, all proceeds go to the band).
Wednesday, March 27th (6 – 9pm): The Peter & Will Anderson Trio at The Refectory. Hailed as “Virtuosos on clarinet and saxophone” by the New York Times, NYC’s twin brother tandem of Peter Anderson (tenor & soprano sax, clarinet) and Will Anderson (alto sax, clarinet, flute) return to Columbus for another spin through choice swaths of classic American song. Joined on a three-week, twenty-two city US tour by Parisian guitarist Felix Lemerle, next week’s performance will “draw from the songbooks of George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman. They will also play New Orleans jazz hits, Afro-Cuban rhythms, and Brazilian Bossa Novas.” This will be the latest in a long line of high level intimate concerts at The Refectory, and paired with an excellent four course meal you can’t go wrong! Click here for menu details and more info, and call (614) 451-9774 to make your reservations ASAP!
Thursday, March 28th (10pm – 2am): Soulfield – The Music of Soulive and John Scofield at Dick’s Den. A quartet of some of Columbus’ finest musicians are coming together next week to celebrate funky organ jazz classics of ~20 years ago. The setlist is apparently focused on revered guitarist Scofield’s album A Go Go, recorded with Medeski, Martin & Wood, and Soulive’s cult classic debut Get Down! The band for the evening is Tom Davis on guitar, Robert Mason on keys, Will Strickler on bass, and Matthew Dixon on drums. These tunes were formative building blocks in my jazz appreciation history, so I can’t wait for this show! $5 for a night of can’t miss funky tunes.
Have a great week! Prepare for the above with video: