In an attempt to break out of the late-winter doldrums, I did have one great, but brief, Jazz Night Out this week when I saw the Robert Mason Trio make their Brothers Drake debut with a Jazz Wednesday show on February 25th. I met up with some friends, including JazzColumbus founder Mark Subel, and we enjoyed the lively atmosphere of one of the best jazz nights in town. The first few songs I heard had a more traditional piano trio sound, with Mason’s warm keyboard filling the room, and the rhythm section of John Allen on bass and John Suntken on drums was swinging pleasantly. Toward the end of the first set, the proceedings got a bit funkier and more soulful. Highlights for me were the band’s renditions of Michael Jackson’s “I Can’t Help It” (remembered by me as the predominant sample for this) and Horace Silver’s “The Kicker.” Great tunes – if you missed this one, you have another chance: the trio plays Dick’s Den on Sunday, March 8th at 8pm.
Shows To See This Week
Thursday, March 5th: Pete Mills 5-tet: Momentum Revisited at Natalie’s. After serving as a guest clinician this week at the Jazz on the Upper Great Plains Festival at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Mills flies back to town to resume his Side One Series. This time, his band will recreate Momentum, Mills’ debut album, released on COJAZZ Recordings in 1998 (audio samples in the middle of this page). This album featured some composition work by the dearly departed Mark Flugge, who was involved in helping to shape the album. Mills’ “5-tet” for the evening will feature special guests Rob Parton on trumpet and Danny Bauer on keyboards, along with Greg Wolfram on bass and Zach Compston on drums. Mills is offering a free copy of the album with paid admission, so come get a dose of Columbus jazz history along with a great live show! And if you need more live jazz, Natalie’s presents another fine show the next night, Friday, March 6th: Saxophonist Dan White returns to town for a very rare Quartet show in the middle of the latest Huntertones tour.
Sunday, March 8th (2 – 4pm): Bobby Floyd Trio featuring Bobbi Townes at Via Vecchia Winery. On a break from touring with the legendary Dr. John, piano/organ virtuoso Floyd is home in Columbus playing the last jazz show of the 2014-15 City Music Columbus season. Sunday’s performance is a program entitled Bobby & Bobbi that features Townes, Floyd’s daughter, on vocals. Joined by Floyd’s usual trio of bassist Derek DiCenzo and drummer Reggie Jackson, the material for the afternoon will include standards drawing from jazz, soul, and gospel. Doors open at 12:30 for brunch – more details and ticket info are available here.
Wednesday, March 11th: 6:5 Quartet at Brothers Drake (EDIT: Immediately after press time, the band formerly known as Breakout V changed its name). This week’s Jazz Wednesday slot will be filled by this young group from Athens. From their Facebook page:
Breakout V is a group of upcoming musicians that got their start playing together through jazz standards but have since broken out of their shells. They are currently in the recording studio working on their new material. They focus their attention on collaboration with the vast electronic sounds from the MalletKat as well as mixed percussion and the limited range of instruments like the vibraphone and bass guitar. These sounds combined give Breakout V the tools they need to write exciting, new music with influences from the greats in jazz all the way to minimalism and the avant garde.
Have a great week! Here’s a 2010 video of Mills and band performing Momentum‘s title track: