It’s been a minnit, I know, but the last eight weeks has been a bit of a time, which is to say that big changes are afoot, but getting on the good foot, I should have the time and mental energy to resume the coverage here and there’s much to cover on the NEO scene in the very near future. So let’s get right to it.
The Bay City Rollers didn’t make the Rock Hall this year, but here at Countdown, their most famous lyric line resonates:: “S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y, night!” That’s the night when jazz fans in NEO have some difficult decisions to make, but with three great shows in Cleveland and Akron, there are no wrong answers–and we’re here to help.
The first thing you need to know about bass trombonist Jennifer Wharton, who will bring a septet to Akron and Cleveland this week, is that she has a delightfully playful sense of humor. The second thing you should know is that she’s nobody’s fool. So when she chose Bonegasm as the name of her four-trombone band, she knew she would hear about it.
“Being a lady brass player, my suit of armor, my protection for most of my career was my humor. If I could hang with the guys and tell jokes, whatever,” Wharton said in a humor-filled video call from her home in the New York area. “But I have been in a couple situations where I can give as good as I get, and people have been offended because it’s a woman saying it.”
Her response to them? “Well, bite me,” she said laughing.
Now that Halloween is over and it’s safe to go out again, a cornucopia of jazz and jazz-adjacent events awaits NEO music fans. Grab what’s left of those fun-sized chocolate treats and whatever money remains after Bandcamp Friday (yup, it’s that time again, maybe for the last time), and head out to hear a bountiful fall harvest of sound.Where do you start? Start below.
When Chuck Owen rolls into Northeast Ohio this week for gigs at BOP STOP and BLU Jazz+, he brings a variegated book of original compositions and a heady reputation as a bag-band arranger with him. What he won’t bring on this visit is his 18-piece big band, the Jazz Surge.