I had a fun Jazz Night Out when I attended the Jazz 98.5 FM, WSAX-LP Homegrown Jazz Brew Fundraising Concert at Whitehall Yearling High School on Saturday, April 28th. The well-appointed Walter Armes Learning Center Auditorium was a great setting for some of the area’s finest musicians. I arrived in time to hear the second half of a soulful straight-ahead set by drummer Greg Bandy & the Jazz Alliance. The band highlighted some of guitarist Josh Hindmarsh’s original tunes – New Zealand-born Hindmarsh wrote “Sunshine Coast” in the Australian suburbs, and the island-inspired melody conjured visions of another world, as well as top-flight solos from Hindmarsh, organist Jon Eshelman, and Bandy. “Blue Drive,” another Hindmarsh number, opened with a sanctified unaccompanied passage from Eshelman before settling into a lively blues romp with more great individual contributions. Bandy introduced their final tune “Good Booty and Barbecue” in surprise of its staying power since its inclusion on his lone solo album from 1997, and the raucous, funky singalong took root with another audience. Keep reading for more thoughts on the show, as well as previews of Sabrina Tutstone, Dan Wenninger & Heat Transfer, and the Richard Lopez Jazz Master Sessions season finale.
The second set of the evening brought Copacetic to the stage for a mix of originals from their 2017 self-titled EP and well-chosen takes on favorite material. Saxophonist Ed Hill unleashed his soaring soprano on album tune “Joy,” which included a giant guitar solo from Derek Brown and soulful runs from keyboardist Chris Brown. Brown’s presence was felt in a major way on Robert Glasper’s “FTB,” contributing elegantly soulful twists and turns over the live drum track before the trio jammed out to end the piece. “It’s Good,” another highlight from the EP, found Hill blowing a full-bodied melody on alto sax, and his bandmates added more passion to the smooth affair. The night ended with a well-deserved encore, and I also hope to see both bands live again soon. Looking forward to a big summer from Ron Johnson, WSAX and the SEMM Foundation – stay tuned!
Shows To See This Week
Friday, May 4th (5 – 8pm): SCAT Long Street Project (LSP) 1st Friday Happy Hour with Sabrina Tutstone at Lincoln Cafe. After honoring International Jazz Day with a jam last weekend, Connie Boykin’s Society for Creative Art Talent is back at the Lincoln Cafe for its monthly happy hour show with house band Long Street Project, comprised of a selection of the city’s best jazz talents. The event’s recent run of vocal features continues with an appearance by esteemed vocalist Sabrina Tutstone. Expect to hear “a broad range of popular jazz standards” from Tutstone and the band. Come out for a lively start to your weekend! A donation of $10 is requested for admission.
Saturday, May 5th (8pm – midnight): Dan Wenninger & Heat Transfer, PHAM Trio and Fatal Gaze at Filament at the Vanderelli Room. As we shared with our interview with venue operator Gerard Cox, Filament is following up a strong April with more great programming this Spring. Up next is another ambitious triple bill of improvised music headlined by Dan Wenninger & Heat Transfer, providing a sequel to their acclaimed set at the 2017 Vessel Festival. This Midwest all-star collective is led by Cleveland saxophonist Wenninger, with Columbus’ own Alex Burgoyne on alto saxophone and Mario Bosca on bass plus Detroit’s Kurt Prisbe on drums. Another band following up a strong debut is the PHAM Trio, “a very inventive rhythmic machine” led by pianist Aaron Putnam with Chris Haas on upright bass and Chris Murray on drums. Their material is recommended for fans of Vijay Iyer, John Escreet or Andrew Hill. Ending the night is the electronic/dark ambient duo Fatal Gaze of Ty Owen and David Reed. Prepare for another adventurous night of music-making at Filament! The show is BYOB, with a $5-10 sliding scale admission.
Sunday, May 6th (3 – 5pm): Richard Lopez’s Jazz Master Sessions: “Unforgettable: Nat King Cole” at Columbus Museum of Art. Pianist Lopez wraps up another successful season of high-level thematic concerts at the museum with a celebration of legendary singer and pianist Cole. Vocalist Kelly Delaveris returns home to Columbus to share vocal duties with the excellent Dick Mackey to explore Cole’s timeless songbook. The program also features Lopez, guitarist Colin Lazarski, bassist Terry Douds and drummer Steve Schaar on interpretations of Cole’s famous trio and quartet recordings. Tickets and more details are available here.
Have a great week!