JazzColumbus Weekly – March 6, 2014

One major show announcement this week: Grammy-winning Snarky Puppy has already planned their second Columbus performance of 2014! Following the release of their new album We Like It Here on February 25th, the band is now doing what it does best: hitting the road. Snarky Puppy will play Park Street Saloon on Tuesday, June 24th. I heard they packed Woodlands Tavern to the gills in January, so this larger member of the Woodlands roster of venues should be more comfortable for their growing local following. Tickets are already available here.

A Jazz Night Out

On Friday the 28th, I made it to Dicks Den for a set-plus of Descendre & Friends. I think this was my first time seeing a full-on Descendre show, and their spirited funky fusion made me regret what I missed at previous shows. There were at least 7 performers playing at any one time, so they filled the stage and sprawled onto the front of the dance floor. Keyboardist Adam Smith led the band through tunes alternately mystical and physical (often at the same time), as the nuanced material still found a way to make the crowd dance at moments. Trombonist Jason Branscum contributed a rugged original, “Self Portrait in Seven Figures,” among Smith’s compositions. Masterful solos from the ensemble including a vocoder explosion from Jeffro Jam and some fiery work from drummer Justin Campbell kept the energy high.

Shows To See This Week

Thursday, March 6th: Honk, Wail & Moan at McConnell Arts Center. The longtime local jazz powerhouse recently recorded an album of planet-themed compositions by dearly departed band member Brian Casey. They are ramping up their live performance schedule starting with a show at the Worthington arts center that is very supportive of the jazz community. The band plays again on Wednesday, March 12th for Jazz Wednesday at Brothers Drake.

Thursday, March 6th: Greg Abate Quartet at Natalie’s. Rhode Island-based saxophonist Abate has performed for over 40 years, recording numerous albums under his own name and playing in the Ray Charles Band, the Artie Shaw Band, and other prestigious groups. His backing band will consist of locals pianist Mark Flugge and bassist Roger Hines, as well as drummer Lee McKinney of Dayton.

Sunday, March 9th (6-8pm): Michael Cox and Dennis Hodges at Hodges Concert Hall, 197 Dakota Avenue. This is the third performance of the monthly house show series at Hodges’ house. This series pairs Hodges with a different musician every month, and “aims to focus on songs from the rock/pop ‘universe’ and adapt [them] for a stripped down, intimate setting.” If you can’t make it to the show, the performance will also be streamed live online via this link.

Wednesday, March 12th: From The 5 Jazztet at Natalie’s. This quintet’s debut in January showcased a new force to be reckoned with in Columbus jazz. The prominent contributions from trumpeter Rob Parton, saxophonist Randy Mather, and pianist Mark Flugge paired with the rhythm section of bassist Dave DeWitt and drummer Aaron Scott combine to present top-notch interpretations of classic jazz repertoire and Flugge’s excellent compositions.

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