JazzColumbus Weekly – November 13, 2014

I had one great Jazz Night Out this week when I caught a set of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey at Dicks Den this past Monday. The place was rather packed, especially for a Monday, as the band’s faithful Columbus fans jumped at this inexpensive chance to see the band up close and personal. The stage was also packed, as leader/keyboardist Brian Haas and guitarist/keyboardist Chris Combs both had full keyboard rigs, plus amps, and drummer Joshua Raymer squeezed his set into the back. Opening tune “New Bird,” which is also the lead song on their new album Worker, served as a quieter lead-in to the louder material to come.

Many tunes were driven by propulsive bass keys from Haas, and Raymer’s solid (and raucous, at times) rhythms anchored the groove. Combs was featured on multiple guitars, as he had several excellent slide guitar parts and a very soulful pedal steel guitar lead on the sanctified “Let Yourself Out.” “Betamax” strutted just as hard live as it did on record, featuring a scampering solo from Haas. As promised, the band made some tweaks to bring the new material to the live stage, and the crowd seemed to love every minute of it. The band played mostly/most of the new album in the first set, so I’m imagining a second set of party classics – let me know what I missed in the comments!

Shows To See This Week

Thursday, November 13th: Rorschach Quartet at Dick’s Den. Saxophonist Brian Lang and his group will be busy this week, starting off with a Thursday show at Dick’s and followed by a Jazz Wednesday show on November 19th at Brothers Drake. Lang was gracious enough to fill me in on more info for both shows:

…[Both shows will feature Lang] on saxophones, Dean Marcellana on keys, Greg Wolfram on bass, and Ryan Jewell on drums. We are playing a few new tunes, and they fit our normal eclecticism. A sort of mantra that Dean and I share as well as what I believe is a trend in younger musicians is that jazz musicians should do more to reach a broader audience. This includes borrowing from popular music both in melody and in different styles that you would not normally hear in a jazz context. What we do is to take these songs and use them as a vehicle for improvisation the same way jazz musicians used songs from musicals and movies throughout the 20th century to make the “standards” that we know today. We use our own aesthetic in modern jazz, Latin American music, free jazz, and swing and apply them to these “new” standards. Some of the covers we will do are songs by John Legend, Galactic, The Beatles, Ray Charles, Pink Floyd, Guns and Roses, Nirvana, The White Stripes, Tears for Fears, Pearl Jam.

Friday, November 14th: Jim Maneri with the Columbus Jazz Quartet at Dick’s Den. Pianist Maneri is back home for the first time in about eight months after a long-running gig playing on a cruise ship, and is wasting no time getting back into the swing of things. On Thursday the 13th, from 7:30 – 9:30pm, he will be giving a free solo jazz piano recital at Graves Piano & Organ, 5798 Karl Road, and is excited to share “the solo jazz piano skills and music [he’s] been working on these last several months.” On Friday night, Maneri returns to Dick’s and will play in the place of keyboardist Dave DeWitt in the Columbus Jazz Quartet, with saxophonist Randy Mather, bassist Derek DiCenzo, and drummer Aaron Scott. Maneri was very kind to inform me of more details on the show:

Friday we’ll play jazz in a rather traditional sense. Straight ahead and exciting and of course, with this bunch, funny. All of us bring the funny. Entertaining. Not background music. It’s definitely the A-team and it’s been about 8 months since I’ve been in town to play with these guys, so we’ll be on and burning! Standards, newer songs done up jazz, hilarity. Please come!

CORRECTION: Friday, November 14th: Stan Smith + at Brothers Drake. After some trio gigs in recent weeks, guitarist Smith brings a larger group to the meadery for some weekend jazz. The group will include Nicole Rachelle on saxophones, Adam Smith on keyboards, Taylor DeVault on guitar, Roger Hines on bass, Danny Aguiar on drums, and Ron Hope on percussion. The night will feature many new compositions from Smith, with some standards mixed in. Adam Smith tells me that Stan has been working very hard on new tunes, so this should be an exciting night of new and classic jazz.

Have a great week!

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