JazzColumbus Weekly – November 17, 2016

I had a brief but lovely Jazz Night Out when I saw the Lisa Bella Donna Group at the Upper Arlington Public Library on Thursday the 10th. As discussed here, Bella Donna has released two wonderful jazz albums so far in 2016, and her prolific creativity was on full display in the library’s impressive basement theater. Armed with an arsenal of keyboards, Bella Donna was joined by fellow luminaries Justin Campbell on drums, Jim Tussing on bass, and Stan Smith on guitar. What I heard was state-of-the-art fusion shaped by shifting colors and textures. Bella Donna had plenty of tricks up her sleeves with various effects, building moods and creating climactic moments. From my vantage point, I was struck by Campbell’s intense focus on each individual piece of his drum set, driving the groove but also adding sublime accents. I wish I could have seen more, but what I saw was a sublime slice of creative jazz fusion. Catch Descendre (same lineup) at Dick’s Den on Thursday, December 1st for more spirited explorations.

Shows To See This Week

Friday, November 18th (7:30 – 10pm): Walt Weiskopf Quartet at Bungalow Jazz. This is the third of a four show mini-tour across Ohio for which NYC-based saxophonist Weiskopf has assembled an all-star Ohio rhythm section of Cincinnati pianist Phil DeGreg, bassist Doug Richeson, and drummer Jim Rupp. A $20 donation will be requested at the door, all of which goes to the performing musicians. Pete Mills, once a student of Weiskopf’s, provided a few more details on his world-class resume:

Walt is an alum of the Buddy Rich Big Band (just like our favorite Columbus musicians Jim Masters and Jim Powell) and is a prolific composer with almost 20 CDs under his own name. He is deep in the tradition of the great tenor players like Dexter and Trane, and since 2003 Walt has been touring the world as a member of Steely Dan. His appearance at Becky’s will sure be a treat for all of us who are there!

Friday, November 18th (9:30pm – 2am): Indiehashtaggastrogrowler By Communitypaloozaaroofest III at Dick’s Den. Bassist Matt Paetsch’s third annual Faith Mission benefit show, which started as the grand finale to his October 2014 Dick’s Den Residency, returns with another blockbuster installment. For the uninitiated, the concept is that instead of a costumed tribute to a band, Paetsch and an all-star crew dress up popular rock, metal, R&B, and hip-hop songs in jazz and world arrangements. The vocalist lineup includes many of Columbus’ finest singers, including Jon Coleman, Kelly McLennan, Jenny Flory, Jenny Lute, Matt Monta, Mark Rhodes, Nikki Wonder and Jon Elliott, and Paetsch will be joined in the band by Matt Adams, Dale Alkula, Aaron Bishara, Alex Burgoyne, Brett Burleson, and Richard Lopez. Cover is $5, or a new or gently used blanket, and all proceeds will support the Faith Mission homeless shelter. Party with a stellar crop of musicians and songs for a great cause!

Sunday, November 20th (3 – 4:30pm): Abhik Mazumder – “Piano Solo: Classical and Jazz” at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Worthington. 15 year-old pianist Mazumder, pianist for the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra and winner of the 2016 Hank Marr Award, will display the breadth of his talent and interests with this FREE solo piano concert. Acknowledging two sides of his musical background, the first half of the performance will present timeless classical works, while the second half will highlight great jazz tunes and arrangements, including “February’s Promise,” written by his dearly departed teacher, Mark Flugge. Come out to enjoy the prodigious abilities of one of Columbus’ absolute finest young musicians!

Have a great week! Here are a few videos to get you started:

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