I had a new Jazz Night Out experience on Thursday the 21st when I checked out the weekly jazz night at Cliffside Sports Bar. Nestled in a strip mall facing onto a cornfield on the western edge of Grandview/Upper Arlington, it’s not the first spot one would think of when looking for jazz in Central Ohio, but I found a relaxed jam powered by great musicians. The house band includes Mark Goodwin on keyboards, Todd Collis on guitar, Roger Hines on bass, and Ted Royalty on drums. I arrived for the latter half of the first set and saw the band rip through a variety of standards, including a unique (given their instrumentation) version of “OGD Road Song” that featured a smokin’ solo by Goodwin. A guest vocalist (named Freda, I believe) joined the band to start the second set, and their rendition of “Feel Like Making Love” was my sultry highlight of the night. I wish I could have stayed longer to hear more guest musicians, but enjoyed what I saw and encourage you to grab your horn and/or stop by this fine weekly event.
Shows To See This Week
Thursday, May 28th: Radarhill & Stone Fruit at Carabar. A slate of jazzy Thursday nights has been running for months now at the Olde Towne East bar, alternating between nights hosted by Stan Smith and those hosted by “ethereal funk fusion” outfit Stone Fruit. This week’s installment will bring hot local quintet Radarhill to the stage. Radarhill and Stone Fruit both feature Troy Kunkler on drums, so this will be a busy night for Troy. After each bands plays a set, the night usually ends with a collaborative jam with a mix of all of the night’s musicians, so stop by to hear something unique!
Friday, May 29th: Band 2 featuring Karl Denson at Park Street Saloon. Saturday night will find the Rolling Stones playing the Ohio Stadium for what is likely the classic rock show of the year. While they are in town, however, some of the touring band members will hit another local stage the night before for a jazz-tinged night of Stones classics. The lineup is bursting with excitement for jazz fans – saxophonist and jazz-jam superstar Karl Denson, who recently became a full member of the touring band after the unfortunate death of Bobby Keys, highlights the list of Stones touring regulars, which also includes Tim Reis on saxophone and piano, Bernard Fowler on vocals, Darryl Jones on bass, and Chuck Leavell on piano. The local stardom is also through the roof, as the band will also entail Dr. John’s band member Reggie Jackson on drums, Kevin Turner on guitar, and CJO member and Stevie Wonder band member (17 years strong) Dwight Adams on trumpet. This will be a full-on rock/jazz/jam spectacle, so tickets are going fast – click here to purchase.
Saturday, May 30th: Alex Schrock Trio with Chris Coles at Dick’s Den. Guitarist Schrock has cooked up a special program with a special guest for his return to Dick’s – he was very kind to fill me in on the details:
This will be a very special night as I’m having down from Cleveland/Akron one of my favorite Cleveland area musicians, Chris Coles (alto saxophone). Chris is known for his work with The Admirables, Bobby Selvaggio, Dan Wilson and many more throughout Ohio, and was also commissioned to record for John Hollenbeck (“Rainbow Jimmies”). This is the first time I will be performing my trio compositions arranged for a quartet. The trio will consist of myself on guitar, Dan Pappalardo on upright bass, and the ubiquitous Ryan Jewell on drums. In addition to my original music, we’ll be playing some less common jazz “standards” from Billy Strayhorn, Joe Henderson, Horace Silver and Charlie Parker. As always, cheap cover ($4) and cheap drinks. Music starts at 10.
Have a great week! Here’s a taste of Denson’s Rolling Stones flavor: