Thursday, March 29, 2012

Jazz Central Cookin' Again

If you read this even occasionally you are aware that I spend most Sunday nights down at Jazz Central out on East Third Street. This past Sunday everything was hitting on all cylinders. Man-oh-man what a night at Jazz Central. When I got there Mike Pilkington was wailing on his alto sax and guitarist Jeff Slinker seemed to be carrying the tune being played. When I joined the crowd in the big room I also saw Kenny Baccus on B3 (of course), Henry Miles Preston on drums, Ron Applebury on electric bass, Cliff Darrett on Latin percussions and congas and Ahmed Muhammad down front on congas and the Master of Ceremonies himself, John Hampton Wagner. They were really cookin'. As the evening progressed the band was joined by another regular, who has not been quite as regular lately so it was good to see him, Rodderick Wilson on trumpet. Everything was clicking, they were jammin' on jazz tunes and the crowd was feelin' it. Then to top things off, Grant "King" Koeller showed up and raised the bar. Ishmael Mohammad was in the audience as well but he came to listen rather than play drums. Here was the most interesting part, King Koeller showed up with a baritone sax AND there was a trombone player in the house, combinations we have not seen at Jazz Central in many a year. What a treat! And not only that but everybody was playing off everybody else and creating quite the magical night. Someone in the audience kept yelling for Chameleon (given the bari-sax) and the band lit it up. Koeller did eventually switch back to his usual axe on the tenor sax but nothing was lost in the transition. I often say the last hour is the best hour but this night the entire night was a good one with the last hour over the top. Thanks to the jazz jammers and thanks to Butch Stone for keeping jazz central available for live jazz to continue in the Dayton area.

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