Richard Sanford and I had a wonderful Jazz Night Out when we saw the Alex Harding-Lucian Ban Duo (photo by Sanford) at Filament at the Vanderelli Room on October 15th. A gathering of Filament faithful made for a warm and receptive audience to the long-running collaboration of two old friends, and both master musicians shared multiple insights into their careers and their history of playing together and learning from each other. The music revealed two expert improvisers with an excellent rapport – there were plenty of solo explorations and free passages, but Harding and Ban always came back together for powerful joint statements. Keep reading for more on the show and excellent shows this week!
The indelible “Hymn” opened with a sustained, gentle piano journey by Ban and gave way to breathy, full-bodied runs and wistful blowing by Harding. Both players presented tributes to mentors and influences: Harding honored Motown’s Thomas ‘Beans’ Bowles, Hamiet Bluiett and Julius Hemphill with a moaning celebration of the baritone sax, and Ban endeavored on a soulful adventure in honor of pianist Abdullah Ibrahim. Finale “Not That Kind of Blues” showcased the duo’s absorption of the blues – Ban noted that he learned much about the blues from Harding – on a howling, swinging round of old time exuberance. This was another amazing listening room experience at Filament – Next up is Leo Sherman’s NYC ensemble Tonewheel, featuring Cincinnati’s Brandon Coleman and Ben Tweedt, plus an opening set from resident guitarist Zakk Jones on Monday, October 28th at 8pm – info here.
Shows To See This Week
Sunday, October 27th (3:30 – 5:30pm): Phil Clark: “My Tribute to the Gospel Legacies of Hawkins & Crouch” at St John’s Church Columbus, Downtown. Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Clark is reprising his excellent 2017 tribute concert honoring gospel legends Bishop Walter Hawkins and The Reverend Andrae Crouch – read our 2017 interview with Clark here and read my review of that show here. For Sunday’s concert in the lovely setting of St John’s sanctuary, Clark will again be joined by keyboardist Bobby Floyd, vocalist Camille Betton, bassist Dwight Bailey, drummer Reggie Jackson and guitarist Jeff Passifiume. $30 tickets are available here and at the door and benefit The Largest Table Ministry that feeds Columbus homeless. Great music for a great cause!
Thursday, October 31st (9:30pm – 1am): Trick or Treat / Gimme That Beat with Safety Squad and Deal Breakers at Duecento, Italian Village. While keyboardist and Safety Squad bandleader recently moved to Chicago, Safety Squad maintains a funky fusion presence in Columbus with frequent area shows. On the 18th, the band released new single “Bear Fight” in advance of forthcoming album Adventure Jazz. While “Bear Fight” is replete with momentous groove, atmospheric keyboards and the many-armed talents of its instrumentalists, it also seems to have more of an unpredictable “live” element than previous recordings, complete with mind-bending guitar and wailing sax! Visit the band’s Facebook page for a free download, and watch the video below. Safety Squad’s next Columbus appearance is Thursday’s Halloween party that is headlined by Go-Go powerhouse The Deal Breakers, blending funk, rhythm and blues, and old-school hip-hop for an unstoppable dance groove. $10 tickets and more details are available here for a memorable Halloween experience!
This Week at Brothers Drake
Alex Burgoyne: “This week at Brothers Drake celebrating All Hallows’ Eve a day early [Wednesday, October 30th at 8pm] is Insane Jazz Posse.
IJP is a Ben Johnson band that started as a way to connect the music of our youth to the music we all play for a living. It has evolved since then, into a fearless, absurd destruction as well as an homage to that music. It’s wild and unapologetic, and it’s the perfect way to spend an early Halloween Wednesday.
Ben with his pals Danny Bauer, Zakk Jones, Seth Daily, and me (Alex Burgoyne) will be in costume and invite you to join us! Brothers Drake will have a spooky cocktail for the night and we’ll be playing all of your favorite 90s Rock and early 00s pop songs.
Jazz Wednesday at Brothers Drake. 8:00-11:00PM. Free as always. You mead it.”
Have a great week! Check out video of “Bear Fight” below: