I had an excellent Jazz Night Out when I saw the first set of legendary composer/arranger Bill Holman with Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra at the Clintonville Woman’s Club on Monday the 16th. The 90-year-old Holman regaled a truly packed house with tales of jazz greats and a quick wit, often directed at Wiester, and he conducted a few of the FJO’s takes on his arrangements. The orchestra rendered these big band classics with their colorful majesty, and guest musicians added to the display. Vocalist Dick Mackey soared on the swinging melody of “That Old Black Magic,” while band vocalist Natalie Adams was captivating on “It Could Happen To You.” Visiting trumpet screamer Ed Morrison added beautiful lines to an appropriately “hard-charging,” per Doc Severinsen’s original instructions to Holman, and intricate version of “Begin the Beguine.” I was thrilled to hear Holman’s arrangement of “Speak Low” for Gerry Mulligan, which featured a lovely lead from The Blue Horns, the band’s French horn section, and a picturesque muted solo from trumpeter Jim Powell. It was a wonderful experience to hear Holman explain the background of his timeless work, and the band and guests were truly in top form. See the FJO every Monday in the great-sounding setting of the Woman’s Club!
Shows To See This Week
Friday, October 27th (7 – 9pm): Cedric Easton & Circle of Friends Present The Soul 2 Soul Review at Jeffrey Mansion, Bexley. Drummer, Columbus native and now NYC resident Easton is home this weekend and is presenting a special performance. His Circle of Friends band will tackle “creative arrangements from the classic soul songbook” of multiple eras, including songs by artists like Herbie Hancock, The Stylistics, SWV and more. Alongside Easton on drums and vocals, the Friends will also include Christopher Brown (keyboards), Trevor Brown (piano, Rhodes), Michael Ealy (bass) and Parker Louis (guitar), and appearances by guest vocalists are likely! The event is a fundraiser for the Wilberforce University Alumni Association – tickets are $20 and can be purchased in advance here.
Tuesday, October 31st (6 – 9pm): Halloween Bash with The 9th Street Stompers at The Refectory. While Halloween is not usually thought of as a “jazzy holiday,” there are some spooky events in the coming days. Top of the list is this installment in The Refectory’s Jazz Dinner Club presenting this Chattanooga swing outfit that is well-known to Columbus dancers and traditional and gypsy jazz fans. Mixing swing, gypsy jazz, blues, rockabilly, and tango with infectious energy, the band will surely be ready to entertain on All Hallows’ Eve, and the venue encourages guests to dress for the occasion! Details on the menu for the evening are available here. Seats were available as of press time, so call (614) 451-9774 to make your reservation (required) now!
Wednesday, November 1st (8 – 11pm): Ron Hope at Brothers Drake. After dealing with some health issues, master percussionist Hope is thankful to be back on local bandstands, and the Columbus jazz scene is happy to have him! He will return to Columbus’ home for live jazz and mead with this free Jazz Wednesday performance. Hope will be joined by a band of Bobby Steward, Lucas Holmes, Steve Perakis, Shane Willis, John Basom, and Ron Peyton. Look for lively rhythms and uplifting grooves.
Have a great week! Get a taste for the featured artists with video: