JazzColumbus Weekly – September 25, 2014

I had a couple lively Jazz Nights Out last week. On Tuesday, September 16th, my friend Rick and I went to Rumba Cafe to see the Derek DiCenzo (Organ) Trio. One of Columbus’ most versatile performers, DiCenzo has been providing jazz entertainment on some Tuesdays at Rumba recently by leading an organ trio, using the house Hammond B3. Last week he was joined by guitarist Josh Hill and drummer Maxwell Button. The trio’s first set was a relaxed review of standards, starting with a bubbly rendition of “One Note Samba” that featured a thunderous solo from Button. Hill churned out some smoky licks on “Stolen Moments,” and DiCenzo got around very nimbly on “Groovin’ High.” Before the set break, I heard a soulful reading of “OGD Road Song” and a cookin’ take on “Scrapple From The Apple.” The trio put on a fine show, and DiCenzo sounded great behind the organ, especially considering that it’s his third (at least!) instrument.

On Thursday, I caught the first set of the Collective Reaction Breaking Ground Release Party at Brothers Drake. The young group of OSU students and recent OSU grads drew a large crowd of friends, family, and fans, so the atmosphere was very festive. I heard takes on two of my favorite original tunes from the album, as well as some soulful covers. All of the horns had great solos on set (and album) opener “Hip Mr. Hargrove,” with trumpeter Jason Deran’s blowing over keyboardist Josh Jessen’s dense accompaniment a particular highlight. “The Wind” also sounded fantastic live – there were less effects used, but the band made up for that by creating a funky fusion atmosphere and bringing it home with a very hazy outro. Though the group has listed hip-hop as one of their influential genres, I didn’t really hear it until moments in the live versions like this outro. It’s an added element that helps round out the band’s modern jazz-funk sound. The set ended with an arrangement of the RH Factor’s “Forget Regret,” featuring a very sultry lead vocal from up and coming guest vocalist Liz Woolley. Check out this group live whenever you next have the chance!

Shows To See This Week

Thursday, September 25th: Alex Schrock Trio at Dicks Den. The local guitarist, who has been keeping busy with weekly gigs including a brunch slot at Lomonico’s (Pickerington) as well as logging time in the Insane Jazz Posse, is recording seven original tracks on Wednesday at Oranjudio Recording Studio in Grandview. On Thursday night, Schrock will perform this new material, along with some standards and other arrangements, with bassist Chad Greenwald and drummer Ryan Jewell. Schrock doesn’t play with his trio very often, so this chance to hear freshly recorded tunes should be a treat.

Sunday, September 28th (1 – 2:30pm): Tony Monaco Trio at the Harrison West Jazz Stage. The local organ legend returns home this week fresh from a great performance last weekend at the Monterey Jazz Festival. After a late night set on Friday at Natalie’s with guitarist Derek DiCenzo and drummer Louis Tsamous, Monaco will bring the same trio to the finale of the 2014 Harrison West Jazz Stage Season. You’re running out of chances to see great live jazz outside this year, so the beautiful setting of the Harrison Park Gazebo is the place to get your fix.

Wednesday, October 1st: Knots at Brothers Drake. The duo of Caleb Miller (keyboards) and Troy Kunkler (drums/percussion) returns to Jazz Wednesday for the first time since putting on a great show there in early June. Similar to their introduction of Radarhill that night, I’m told that this show will include some tunes by Miller and Kunkler’s third project (that I know of), the Wam-Bam Jazz Trio. This band adds guitarist Cody Cooper to the mix, and presents some unique twists on the traditional organ trio. Overall, expect new tunes and varied interpretations of older ones.

Go get some jazz and have a great week!

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