Columbus guitarist Zakk Jones recently released his debut album, Mise-en-scène. The album is available for listening and purchase on Bandcamp and Spotify. But he is celebrating the physical CD release of the album with a release party on Wednesday, July 3rd, which also serves as the kickoff to his July Dick’s Den Residency! Jones was very kind to provide details on each of his five residency shows (music starts each Wednesday in July around 9:30pm, cover is $5) plus a special double bill at Filament on July 16th – please keep reading to learn more about the album and the full schedule. CDs are available at all shows for $15. First, I’d like to provide some thoughts on Mise-en-scène, a relaxed yet powerful musical statement from an emerging composer and a cohesive trio.
“Bananafish” jumps out of the gate with a quick and breezy melody from Jones before sliding into a contemplative solo passage from bassist John Allen and a trio study with nimble fills from drummer Ryan Folger. “Spring in Ohio” is appropriately bursting with heartfelt Americana, buoyed by the rhythm section’s kinetic backbone and enhanced by timeless touches from Jones. “Waltz for Pumpkin” is tailor-made for a fall Sunday afternoon, but the trio adds plenty of style to this folksy stroll. The passionate melody of “Black Rose” certainly feels like a well-worn standard, but here Jones has created another high-quality original that bubbles with surprising excitement. Herbie Hancock’s “Butterfly” is very well-chosen as the only non-original here, as the trio stretches and shapes the soulful classic into something new that is still founded on the exciting rhythms of the original. The album ends with the title track, an exquisite Jones solo voyage that twists and turns to a natural conclusion. Mise-en-scène is highly recommended for modern and classic jazz fans, taking ageless jazz guitar sounds to a modern and personal new level.
Zakk Jones: I’m really happy to be presenting my third residency month at Dick’s Den in July! A lot of important music happens in this special place because of Tim, Aaron and all of the great staff and patrons that support music and good energy. Luckily I have a rare five Wednesday month, so I’m really taking advantage of this opportunity.
Wednesday, July 3rd: Zakk Jones Mise-en-scène CD release show
As a lot of you have known, a big project for me this year was the release of my debut album, Mise-en-scène. It has been an extraordinary process that really began last year with the formation of my trio as it stands today with John Philip Allen on bass and Ryan Folger on drums. We recorded six of my compositions and one arrangement back in January, then over the course of the spring I was working with legendary mixing engineer Rob Griffin who lives in Panama to complete the project. It has been out digitally but now the physical CDs are here and I’m happy to have the trio kick off my residency. This music is truly a melting pot of everything we love, from straight-ahead jazz to Americana, folk, fusion and much more modern and avant-garde moments.
July 10th: Witch Hunt: A tribute to Wayne Shorter
My second week will dive specifically into the music of Wayne Shorter who is perhaps the most influential and prolific composer and instrumentalist alive today. His work has spanned many decades and many of compositions have become embedded in the modern jazz lexicon. This will be a great and exciting evening of jazz in the modern lens and more. The group will be John Philip Allen (bass), Danny Bauer (piano), Bryan Olsheski (saxophone), Tony McClung (drums).
July 17th: Hemispheres: the Afro-Brazilian Project
My love for Brazilian music actually started in high school when I took lessons from a nylon guitarist that really showed me the amazing combination of jazz and traditional Brazilian rhythms and harmony. This infatuation was of course increased when I studied with the great Stan Smith who himself spent many years working directly with master Brazilian composer Moacir Santos. This band has been together since early 2018, and plays a lot of traditional repertoire as well as many new popular songs in styles ranging from samba, favela, MPB, Brazilian pop/rock and of course batucada which includes our large percussion ensemble playing call and response in carnival-style entertainment. This is a sight to see, and a rare opportunity! Rachel Sepulveda (vocals), Jacob Campbell (keys), Will Strickler (bass), Max Marsillo (drums), Eric Paton (percussion), Grant Kendricks (percussion) and more.
July 24th: Zakk Jones Trio + strings and horns
I have to admit this is a dream project of mine… using my Trio as the core group and adding a string Quartet and four horns. This will be a special focus on arrangements of American classics in rock, pop, country, folk and beyond. From the Beatles to Hank Williams to Glen Campbell to David Bowie and some of my originals, this will be a really intimate and special occasion which I hope to do more often in the future. I have always admired the usage of strings in a jazz and instrumental context and this addition will bring out the many great qualities that can be expressed with these instruments and more. John Philip Allen (bass), Ryan Folger (drums), Ben Crowder (trombone), Ian Harrah (trumpet), Justin Dickson (saxophones), Alex Burgoyne (saxophones), Devin Copfer (violin), Rachael Keplin (viola), Liz Fisher (violin), cello (tbd).
July 31st: The Ratchet Surrealists
Of course I can’t do a residency without a night of improvised funk, groove and electronica music with my best friends and collaborators over the past many years in Columbus! We have been doing this in a couple of different instrumentations the past year or so and I am always excited and have way too much fun doing this. Like I said, it’s all improvise in the moment and you really never know what’s going to happen. There may be some singing and rapping involved but who knows, just come. Why Not? Danny Bauer (keyboards), John Philip Allen (bass), Max Marsillo (drums), Alex Burgoyne (sax).
Tuesday, July 16th at Filament: For Now with Zakk Jones Electric Quartet
We are all very lucky to have this great listening space in Columbus, thanks to Gerard Cox and AJ at the Vanderelli room. Filament is proud to present an evening of exciting music with the Zakk Jones Electric Quartet and dynamic touring quintet For Now, from Denton, TX. Opening up the night will be my fusion quartet playing a whole mix of originals and arrangements. 8pm, $7 suggested (pay what you want).
For Now is an original music project led by vocalist/composer Isabel Crespo. They blend modern jazz harmony, thought-provoking lyrics, and intricate melodies to create a nuanced sound. They explore the personal and the political, turning complex situations into musical vignettes. Their performances are dynamic, carefully weaving improvisations and composed material, and striving for new ways of unfolding the personal experience. Their debut album, Elsewhere, was received with national acclaim, and their sophomore album will be out Summer 2019!