February has been music month -- we have gone to four concerts! Three were part of the subscription we have to the local community college's Lively Arts Series; one was a show at a really cool venue, the Ardmore Music Hall. (For my DC friends, this joint is a cross between the Birchmere and the late great Cellar Door. Yep, it's great!)
Anyway, three were jazz, and all were very different sorts of jazz.
But let's start our musical journey back in November, we saw the first show in the Lively Arts series -- Charles Lloyd with special guest star Bill Frisell, plus drummer and bass. Lloyd plays tenor saxophone, and he made that horn come alive. Frisell plays guitar -- wow! This blues/jazz was smooth and silky, but it wailed as well. I particularly loved a beautiful, melancholy version of Shenandoah.
Next, we saw the Aaron Diehl quartet, featuring Warren Wolf. Aaron Diehl plays piano; Warren Wolf plays vibraphone. Those two instruments are a match made in heaven. This jazz was a bit edgier, but still melodic and beautiful. It had a lot of classical overtones to it.
The third concert was the first to feature a singer -- the wonderful Cyrille Aimee. She sang both standards and original tunes, in the style of a classic jazz singer along the lines of an Ella Fitzgerald or Nancy Wilson. She could scat too! Her band included two guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer. They were incredibly tight, and looked like they were having a blast.
Then, last week, we went to the Ardmore Music Hall to see Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett, two members of my favoritest band, Little Feat. They played a terrific acoustic set! One nice thing about the Ardmore Music Hall is that you're actually allowed to record the show! So I grabbed a few numbers on my phone, including this one -- a medley of Willin', Don't Bogart that Joint, Long Black Veil, and The Weight. I was in heaven! Here it is, all 14 minutes of it, complete with crowd noise, waiters, and singing along.
Finally, last Saturday, we went back to the community college to see James Blood Ulmer Odyssey trio. James Blood played electric guitar. Boy oh boy, did he play electric guitar! His original music is a combination of blues/funk, modern jazz, and avant garde discordancy. Back in the 70s we called it "trippin' music." Think of Grateful Dead space jams, only ... more. And loud. The two other musicians played drums and electric violin. It was pretty amazing, but clearly not for everyone -- we saw several folks and small groups leave before the end.
Now we're gearing up for the yearly pilgrimage to Green Bay! There's going to be a Hamilton singalong and karaoke, so the music continues! (I'm going to have to listen to the soundtrack, though. I am probably the only person in the world to have not heard or seen it, although I did see Lin Manuel Miranda on Drunk History!)