An unfortunate news item to relay this week – I would like to send my condolences to the family and friends of pianist and educator Bob Prahin, who passed away on August 29th at the age of 75 (Dispatch obituary). Using the stage name of Bob Allen, he was a titan of Columbus jazz, well-known for his 20+ year engagement with his trio at the Christopher Inn downtown and countless memorable performances throughout the region. He released 8 albums with the trio, including a popular live album recorded at the Christopher Inn. Memorial events will be held in Columbus this weekend, including an informal gathering Thursday, September 3rd, from 7 to 9:30pm, at the Dave DeWitt TRio’s weekly gig at Trattoria Roma, featuring Prahin’s son Aaron Scott on drums. For further details, please visit Scott’s site.
Shows To See This Week
Thursday, September 3rd: Jazz Jam Set with the James Gaiters 4tet at New Harvest Urban Arts Center, Linden. UPDATE: Tonight’s show/jam at New Harvest has been cancelled due to a family issue for one of the band members. The Gaiters 4-tet will play the next installment on September 24th. The Linden-based community arts center and soul food restaurant has had a quiet jazz schedule of late, but that is changing for the fall! Starting this week, the venue will host an open jam on the first and last Thursday of each month, open to instrumentalists and vocalists, with the house band playing the opening set. Drummer Gaiters has assembled a great house band for the occasion, with Eddie Bayard on tenor sax, Cleveland’s Phillip Jones on piano, and Dwight Bailey on bass. Cover is $8, but free for performing musicians. Doors open at 7pm. This show kicks off a busy weekend for Gaiters, who will play with the Bryan Olsheski Quartet at Dick’s Den on Friday and is back at Dick’s again on Saturday for the return of trombonist Jason Branscum’s group. Also featuring Bayard on tenor sax and Derek DiCenzo on bass, this band sounded great when I saw them recently.
Saturday, September 5th: Liz Woolley Band and The Dewdroppers at Brothers Drake. The meadery likes to keep jazz in the rotation of their popular Gallery Hop shows, and this doubleheader of fun vocal bands should be quite the crowd-pleaser. Singer-songwriter Woolley is a great up-and-coming talent, and her band (Dylan Bram on vibraphone, John Allen on bass, Dennis Hodges on guitar, and Brian Ellerman on drums) is a warm and versatile unit, great at swinging instrumentals, emotional ballads, and everything in between. The swing-pop of the DewDroppers and their recent self-titled debut album has garnered a widespread and diverse following, and their energetic live show keeps the masses coming back. This pairing of bands will make for a full night of entertainment, or a great stop on the way home from elsewhere.
Sunday, September 6th (8 – 10pm): Debra Tucker Gospel Show with Bobby Floyd at Natalie’s. Vocalist Tucker has a unique sound, said to be a product of unique sound of her extensive training in jazz, classical and gospel music. While a regular in the local jazz circuit, she also performs with the family based gospel group The James Tucker Inspirational Singers. For this special show, Tucker will be joined by keyboard virtuoso Floyd for a soulful take on gospel, jazz, and beyond. This show also serves to preview the upcoming monthly Gospel Brunch series at Natalie’s, where occasional brunch gospel shows have met with rave reviews. Further detail and ticket info is available here.
Have a great Labor Day weekend! Here is a gospel-tinged taste of Tucker’s abilities: