Hello! This is the debut of a new Wednesday post called Our Scene // Your Scene. In this space, you can expect a variety of things written by musicians who call Columbus home. They’re going to be writing about the music they’re listening to, the shows they’ve seen, the insights they’ve gathered, and the stories that make up the history of Jazz in Columbus. Check back every Wednesday to get to know the musicians who make up our scene.
The Flashlighter will still be posting weekly, AND NOW it will be coupled with the weekend calendar post. Check it tomorrow and every Thursday evening for your weekend jazz needs!
CALL TO ACTION
In the week and a half Zakk and I have been at the helm, we’ve been blown away with the number of people who have offered to help! THANKS! However we could still use more!
If you are a musician, writer, reviewer, graphic designer, social media expert, web developer, artist, or listener who’s interested in helping us grow this site and our community, check out THIS post and think about what you might do to help!
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
(not a letter) From (an) Editor //
In the last three weeks, I’ve gotten to do some remarkable gigs. On New Year’s Eve I played swing music in the party room at Wolf’s Ridge with the Whirlybirds. On the fourth I played a set with some pals for Ben Willis’s very hip photography exhibition, featuring photos of musicians and audience members at Brothers Drake. On the eleventh, the New Basics Brass Band played our patented Columbus styled-New Orleans Funk to an audience of kids and parents at the Lincoln Theatre. On Mondays, I play with Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra to a mostly packed house at the Clintonville Woman’s Club. And tonight, I played a set of completely improvised music (on bass clarinet) at Filament at the Vanderelli Room with a Columbus ex-patriot, and a Columbus staple (meet Phil below). And that’s just three weeks. And that’s just a few of my gigs.
There are plenty of reasons to love our city, and to be grateful for our scene. For this week, this is mine.
by Alex Burgoyne, Co-Editor
As Phil Sees It //
Changing of the guard at regular publications can be a jarring experience. Its voice morphs to match the point of view of the newbies, and those used to the tenor of the old voices can easily start to grumble when they fade away. Here at Jazz Columbus the addition of Alex Burgoyne and Zakk Jones at the helm make this periodical take a jarring turn. The previous writers were jazz aficionados and unapologetic 614 lovers for sure, and so are the new guys. Difference here is that Alex and Zakk are first call jazz players deep on the inside of the scene. I suppose they might lose some objectivity that was so apparent up to now, but even if they do, the upside of having cats on the scene is way too good to pass up. This beast is going new and interesting places. And now I’m on the ride too.
They’ve asked me to write articles for them, and I have a long history of that. I wrote concert reviews for Street Scene Magazine in Columbus for a decade in the mid 80’s and early 90’s; then a couple other free press kinda magazines after that. For the last decade I have written for a bass instrument specific trade magazine, Bass Gear Magazine, penning technical articles and opinion pieces centering on equipment for bass players. On my blog Maneri.net live since 2005, I’ve published Retrospectives where I listened to various artists entire catalogs in chronological order and wrote about each release. I reviewed over 300 different artists including Miles Davis, Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, and John McLaughlin. After reviewing myriad others, I tackled the biggest retrospective to this point: the entire ECM records catalog. I listened to every release from the beginning in 1969 to a couple months back in 2019 and wrote about each one. 2600+ releases that took over 400 days, writing 5 days a week, almost 2 years. You can find that on my blog.
Now, I’ll write here too. I’m not quite sure what that might be about yet. Left to my own devices, I can be a moving target. If you’ve got ideas about what you’re interested in reading about, make sure they get to me. I’m interested in Jazz, Columbus History, Music in general and combinations of all those. I can write about all kinds of insider stuff from the scene. Perhaps we can explore new releases from people inside and outside the Columbus music scene too. Maybe you’d be interested in nuts and bolts articles about music in general. Like “what am I hearing when they improvise like that”? Or “what the hell is going on there on that gig”?
It’s a great time for the Columbus Jazz Community to have an online voice for highlighting gigs and recordings and the general vibe here in Columbus. The new guard has lots of energy and enthusiasm for it. We could use a central clearinghouse for how to find new creative shows around town. The Columbus music community is teeming with creative and interesting musicians who crave bigger audiences just like you. The quality of players here is unbelievably high for a metro this size. We are stocked with talent and out there playing. Watch this space to learn where we’ve come from and where we’re going next.
by Phil Maneri
What’re You Spinning //
with Zakk Jones
It’s about 5:30, on this blistery January 22nd evening, and it seems about as good a time as any to revisit “Luiz Bonfa Plays Bossa Nova”. Brazilian music has always held a special place in my heart; from the equally virtuosic and understated musicianship, to the deep harmonic and rhythmic content, there’s just something mysterious, poignant and refreshing about it. In Brazil they have the word “Saudade” that means:
A feeling of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia that is supposedly characteristic of the Portuguese or Brazilian temperament.
There’s no better way to describe this music than that feeling of “Saudade”
This record in particular is one of your best options if you’re wanting to get a glimpse into the Bossa Nova style, made famous in the late 50’s and 60’s by artists like Luiz Bonfa, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Stan Getz, Baden Powell and many more. Meaning literally “New Wave”, Bossa Nova developed out of the traditional Samba rhythmic style, but was then slowed down and led primarily by nylon-stringed guitar accompaniment. This rhythmic foundation was then used to compose songs with Jazz-influenced harmony and forms. This record date in 1962 features Luiz Bonfa playing guitar and singing many of his compositions, with the great Lalo Schifrin (composer/arranger) writing lush arrangements featuring strings and rhythm section. With all its depth, this music holds no pretensions and is stunningly simple, warm and patient. There’s nothing else to say besides “listen to them damn thing!”
For further listening into Bossa Nova and Brazilian music here are THREE stellar records:
Cannonballs’ Bossa Nova
Stone Flower (Jobim)
Vem So (Come Here, My Love) Track 2
Manha de Carnaval (Morning of the Carnival) Track 5
Ilha de Coral (Coral Island) Track 8
Adeus (Goodbye)Track 9
by Zakk Jones
Columbus Jazz: An Oral History
COMING NEXT WEEK!
More every week. Make sure to check in!