I look at let’s call this as a sort of chamber of commerce for the local scene. It’s important work, especially given the general indifference of the local media to improvised music in the Black American tradition and it’s great fun for me to do, a gateway for this NEO neophyte into the thriving local scene. But two posts a week takes a lot of time to crank out and with holiday travel, my anniversary and listening to catch up with before the yearend polls are due, the next couple of weeks will concentrate on these Countdown previews of upcoming events. Fortunately, there’s a lot to talk about, including more new releases, the first big event at a significant new venue and more. Buckle up. It’s going to be an interesting ride.
Tag: Chris Coles
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.
In the midst of a recording session with his New York big band, Columbus-born, Brooklyn-based trombonist, composer and arranger Sam Blakeslee noticed an interesting dynamic among the players.
“On the first take everyone in the band was like, ‘Who are these people? Why are they playing like this, because it just sounds so different? Why haven’t I heard stuff like this before?’” Blakeslee’s answer: “Because it’s Cleveland.”
“These people,” saxophonists Chris Coles and Nathan-Paul Davis, and the cream of Northeast Ohio’s jazz community, will join Blakeslee on the stage of BLU Jazz+ this weekend for a homecoming so packed with music that it will take two nights to play it all.
Friday, August 11, 7:30 p.m.
Kent Stage, 175 E. Main St., Kent (tickets)
Are they jazz? After 49 years, it’s kind of a moot point. OG saxophonist Jay Beckenstein and his bubbly, rhythm-happy crew have making heads nod and feet pat for a lot of folks–probably more than a few hardcore jazz stans among them. This summertime music should fill the house at Kent Stage.