I got into the Halloween spirit on Wednesday, October 29th, my first of two great Jazz Nights Out last week, by stopping in at the star-studded benefit finale of Matt Paetsch’s October residency at Dicks Den. The costumed all-star band of Paetsch on bass, Tony Bonardi on keyboards, Brett Burleson on guitar, and Maxwell Button on drums laid down some energetic tracks for many of Columbus’ best vocalists to sing some of their favorite tunes. Jon Coleman was first, and his three songs that included a strutting blues take on the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” and a swinging rendition of Danzig’s “Mother” was one of my favorite sets, which set the tone for a wild evening. Jen Miller was next, and her sultry tunes like Madonna’s “Borderline” and The Cure’s “Lovesong” turned up the heat a bit.
After an entertaining interlude performance by a magician (!), Rachel Sepulveda, dressed as Piglet from Winnie The Pooh, delivered a neo-soul version of The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” and a great smoky performance of Janet Jackson’s “That’s The Way Love Goes.” The evening continued to display a broad range of styles and original artists, and my favorite of the later portion was a rousing singalong of Lindsey Buckingham’s “Holiday Road” (theme to National Lampoon’s Vacation) led by Jon Elliott and Andy Shaw that had the crowd belting out the words they knew. The event raised $747 and numerous blankets for Faith Mission, so the event was a great success and will hopefully become an annual tradition.
The next night, I went to Brothers Drake to see the Insane Jazz Posse in what was guitarist Aaron Quinn’s final show with the band before his move to New York City next week. True to the season, bassist/bandleader Ben Johnson was wearing a banana costume, but the rest of the band let the songs do the talking. The band put their own flourishes on many nostalgic hits, as drummer Justin Campbell’s New Orleans solo introduced a soulful cover of George Michael’s “Faith,” which was followed by a great version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” This was my favorite tune of the set, as the song started out delicately (especially for a grunge song) but soon started cooking on the solos, as Campbell and Johnson helped crank up the groove behind building improvisations from Quinn and saxophonist Alex Burgoyne. The rest of the set was also great, with a vibrant take on David Bowie’s “Life of Mars,” a breezy Latin-styled groove on the Legend of Zelda Theme (!), and a fiery original (I think) for the finale, with exciting parts from all of the band members. I wish Quinn good luck on his future endeavors, and hope he comes back to visit (and play) soon!
Shows To See This Week
Sunday, November 9th: Robert Mason Trio at Dicks Den. Young pianist Mason is debuting his new trio in the earlier (8pm) Sunday slot at Dick’s. The band also includes bassist John Allen and drummer John Suntken, both of whom are very active and in-demand these days. Mason promises classic jazz “compositions from artists like Herbie Hancock, Clifford Brown, McCoy Tyner, Horace Silver, and many more,” so this should be a soulful treat. Mason’s Soundcloud page provides some great examples of his recent performances.
Tuesday, November 11th: Birdshack at Natalie’s. While the venerable trio of guitarist Josh Hill, bassist Jeff Ciampa, and drummer Tony McClung continues to thrive in their two weekly gigs – Sunday brunch at The Crest in Clintonville and Monday happy hour at Giuseppe’s Ritrovo in Bexley – they are also finding time to play one-off shows around town. This special performance will add Michael Cox (woodwinds) and Jim Ed Cobbs (keyboards/percussion) to the lineup, so this would be a great time to check out the band if you haven’t yet. Expect to hear originals by all members and selections from their expansive catalog of arrangements and improvisations on jazz standards and pop classics.
Wednesday, November 12th: Liz Woolley CD Release party at Brothers Drake. Multi-talented vocalist Woolley will celebrate the release of her second solo jazz album with a Jazz Wednesday show. The album features twelve original tunes and contributions from a talented young band, including John Allen (bass), Brian Ellerman (drums), Aaron Quinn (guitar), Dylan Bram (vibes/percussion), Jason Deran (trumpet), and Wes Perry (saxophone), most of whom will also be playing Wednesday. If you can’t make it to the show, you can sample and buy the album digitally (or physically!) here.
Enjoy the jam-packed November jazz calendar and have a great week!