Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Saturday night found me finding the time to pop on down to Gilly's in downtown Dayton to catch the Eddie Brookshire Quintet, always enjoyable. Turned out it was also Eddie's birthday. Happy Birthday Eddie! He was joined by the usual cast of characters, Jack Novotny on saxophone, Gary Onady on trumpet, Fenton Sparks on drums, Kega Harikawa (sp?) on piano and Barry Ward as guest trumpet player. They kicked off with the first song off their recording entitled Surrendered Life, an Eddie Brookshire original. It was the hard driving bebop I have come to expect from the Quintet and it was just what I needed. At the end of the first set Eddie's wife, Brenda Flowers was invited up to sing a couple and she sang/scatted one of Eddie's favorites, My Funny Valentine. Keep up the good work fellows! I then moved on up the street a couple of blocks until I was across from The Victory Theater downtown to catch JD Allen on tenor sax playing at D'Lish. I was pleasantly surprised to find that his bass player was accomplished Cincinnati bass player Jim Anderson. What a treat! JD was also accompanied by a recent CCM graduate on drums, Jeff Merrott. I listened to their first set before calling it a night. A couple of tunes that I remember from that set were It Could Happen to You and Friday the 13th, a Thelonious Monk tune. I had tried to arrange a phone interview with JD for my WDPS, 89.5 FM radio show, BeBop and More which broadcasts on Wednesdays at 1:00 (and then again on Saturday nights at 7:00 on wdpsfm.com) but logistics and short timing intervened. I did plug the gig on my show so hopefully that did some good but it was a pretty good crowd that night and the performances were enjoyable. As I say on my show, get out there and support live jazz!
Monday, August 13, 2012
My favorite place on a Sunday night is Jazz Central out on East Third Street, just a few blocks out of downtown Dayton. I have been going there for over a decade and there are not many Sunday Night Jazz Jams that I have missed. Sunday night, 8-12-12 was one for the books. Walked through the door and the first person I saw was Dale Carpenter, trumpet player extraordinaire! I am thinking all right, this is beginning to shape up to be a special night. Dale has not been available to come down in quite some time. Walk in to sit down and who is spread out on stage but Mark Smarelli, a vibraphonist from Springfield who just lights the place up with his solos. He has not been there for many months. The excitement is building! Sit Down and who is also there, being greeted by all the regulars in the place but WDPS Modern Big Band Host Conrad Jessee, currently on hiatus from his show due to health issues, but apparently well enough to get down to Jazz Central now and again. Things had just barely started to warm up when who darkened the door ( I say this because he is large enough to block the light from one room to the next, larger than life one might say) but Mike Teckenbrock. Arguably the best flugel horn player in the Dayton area. Now I am thinking that the night is really gong to be special and let me tell you, it really was. A core group of the usual Sunday Night Jazz Jammers were there, Kenny Baccus on B3, Greg Webster on drums, Jeff Slinker on guitar and of course John Hampton Wagner on trumpet, vocals and general master of ceremonies duty. Dale Carpenter lit things up first, Mark Smarelli kept it lit and finally Mike Teckenbrock joined in to burn the house down. What a great night of music, then when Wagner, Carpenter and Teckenbrock joined forces it was simply over the top. If you weren't there, believe me, you missed it.
Egg on my face! Guess I've heard too much great jazz by too many talented musicians to keep them all straight all the time. I must make some corrections to what I wrote about the Josh Adkin Quntet that opened for George Benson at the Fraze on 8-11-12. Yes Melvin Broach was the drummer but no doubt both he and Eddie Brookshire would be surprised by the fact I linked the two together in The Eddie Brookshire Quintet. Fenton Sparks is the excellent drummer who plays with The Eddie Brookshire Quintet. Melvin Broach is longtime drummer par excellance' associated with The Broach Approach, along with Mike Wade. And last but not least, while Eddie Bayard is an outstanding sax player from Cincinnati and always worth the trip, it is former Cincy sax player Stacy Dillard that is taking New York by storm. Just check it out on Google/You Tube. In fact, you can check out all these wonderful jazz musicians on Google and You Tube. I still wish I had been there to hear the opening act for George Benson.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Hopefully some of you caught the George Benson performance last night (Saturday, 8-11-12) at The Fraze Pavilion. And if you DID, then you may have wondered who the band was that opened the evening. I have it from a musician who was on that stage in that band that it was a last minute rush around, as the original opening act was stuck in an airport somewhere, and local jazz saxophonist Dan Nicora (of Dayton Jazz Orchestra fame) got the harried call. He was out of town as well, more phone calls ensued and the man to the rescue was Dayton's own Josh Adkin who pulled together the all star cast of Eddie Brookshire [of Eddie Brookshire Big Band and Eddie Brookshire Quintet fame], Melvin Broach [fantastic drummer, currently of Eddie Brookshire Quintet fame as well], Mike Wade [one of the best trumpet players in Cincinnati and who just recently played with New York sensation and former Cincy resident Eddie Bayard, plus he blows on one of my favorite Jazz recordings, The Jazz Circle] and even Khalid Moss came down from the mountain top. I am sorry I missed that performance, BUT, Josh Adkin hustled down to Jazz Central out on East Third to join saxophone player extraordinaire Gene Walker and the two of them had a great time. The audience enjoyed them as well. It was a highlight of the evening. Rumor had that George Benson himself might stop down to reconnect with long time friend Gene Walker but that was not in the cards. But thanks to Josh for help make the evening even more special than it had been up to that time.