Posts Tagged ‘jazz’

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, January 14th, 2011

The Oxford Hotel in downtown Bend will kick off its new jazz series this weekend with three performances by the Mel Brown Quartet. I spoke with the band’s namesake drummer about the MBQ, one of three bands he plays in at Jimmy Mak’s jazz club in Portland’s Pearl District.

The MBQ came together years ago to play tight, hard-swinging bop in a style somewhat similar to that of one of Brown’s heros, Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers. The group has been described as a quartet of bandleaders, though Pacini is the official music director, leading the MBQ through its vast repertoire of originals and standards “with a different twist,” Brown said.

“(The band) is kind of like my background — the way I was raised, the music I grew up on,” Brown said. “We play straight ahead, and it feels really good. Everybody plays and we listen to each other a lot.

“Plus everybody likes each other,” he continued. “In most bands you get something good going and all of a sudden there’s an internal fight, and that’s because you’re around each other too much. I see some of these guys once a week, so we don’t have time to get mad. Hell, we’re just happy to be playing.”

Brown is a legend in the Northwest jazz scene, and you should click here to read the whole interview. While you’re there, read up on the other jazz happenings this weekend, including a Just Joe’s show at Greenwood Playhouse, and Cascade School of Music’s effort to revive the old Sunday shows at Be Bop Coffee House.

Champagne Champagne's Pearl Dragon performs in the rafters of the Old Mill Music Lounge. Photo by Ben.

This week’s Feedback column focuses on two Seattle hip-hop groups — Champagne Champagne and Mad Rad — that performed last weekend at the Old Mill Music Lounge. There’s weren’t many people there, so chances are decent you weren’t there, so read on …

As is frequently the case in this genre, Champagne Champagne’s DJ (Mark Gajadhar) is a secret, shadowy weapon. As is less frequently the case, he may be their MVP. (MCs Sir Thomas) Gray and Pearl Dragon were solid, engaging performers all night; Gray manned a mic stand like a rock singer, and his partner stalked off the stage more than once to rap from within the crowd. They slayed their best song (so far), “Soda & Pop Rocks,” with its wicked, dubstep-y bass line and shoutouts to the streets of Seattle: “My city’s not pretty it’s gritty,” Pearl Dragon raps. “Top notch when the block’s hot, blow up like soda and pop rocks.”

Elsewhere, the MCs showcased their influences: indie/alt-rock (one tune referenced Sonic Youth’s “Bull in the Heather”) and ’80s-child pop culture (“She looks like Molly Ringwald. She’s beautiful to me.”), while Gajadhar rocked like an octopus working overtime, bouncing from electric guitar to keyboard to tambourine to drum machine to melodica and back. His work was sometimes ominous and murky (“Something Strange”), sometimes bright and poppy (“Hollywood Shampoo” sounds like hip-hop built on a Shins song), and sometimes a sweet and sour collision of video-game bloops and punk-rock squall.

It was a great show. I hope you’ll read the whole thing by clicking here.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Larry and His Flask headline a show to benefit two of its members’ dad, Tribal Seeds and Anthony B (separately) bring reggae to the Domino Room, Rootdown rocks McMenamins, Empty Space Orchestra continues its January residency at Silver Moon, Seattle folkie Sarah Sample plays Sisters, MC Mystic spins Michael Jackson tunes at MadHappy Lounge and local bands Five Pint Mary and Boxcar Stringband play a benefit for BAKESTARR.

Fine jazz band tonight in Sisters

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

All you jazz fans out there ought to consider checking out this band BUG tonight in Sisters. (Sorry for the short notice.)

BUG consists of five educators, and you can hear their slick (but not too slick) sound at their Web site. Or, just trust Jody Henderson, the band director at Sisters High School and Sisters Middle School, who says BUG is “the real deal.” Jody’s a jazz fan, a player and a vital cog in the region’s jazz scene, so he knows what he’s talking about.

The band will play at 7:30 tonight in the Sisters High School band room, at 1700 W. McKinney Butte Road. Cover is $5 for students and $10 for adults, and the money will help pay for more artists like this to come to Sisters, where they work with jazz students before playing a concert for the general public. It’s a cool thing that’s worth supporting.

May 29 in GO! Magazine

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Happy Friday, friendly Frequency readers. Every Friday morning, I tell you about all the music stories we have in that day’s GO! Magazine, and today is no different. This week, the recap is brought to you by our buddy Keyboard Gato:

-Local singer-songwriter Kim Kelley celebrates the release of her new album “Bending Blue” tonight at Silver Moon Brewing. Read that story to find out exactly why she started writing songs, and then download a track from the album here:

Download Kim Kelley, “Into Your Blue”

-Alt-country veteran Fred Eaglesmith played a house concert near Sisters on Memorial Day. According to my review, he was pretty great.

-You may not know the name Water & Bodies, but you may very well know more about the Portland band than you realize. Heck, you may know two of its members. BONUS: Click here to download a song and read an interview with the band.

-This weekend should be nirvana for area jazz fans. There are no fewer than three ways to see live jazz over the next 48 hours. Get all the details you need right here.

-Portland musician Stephanie Schneiderman brings her electro-pop solo act back to town on Wednesday, and she has kindly provided a song for you to download!

Download Stephanie Schneiderman, “Oxygen”

-Also in this week’s edition: the Moon Mountain Ramblers, Electric Sudaki, Baby Bash, Frankie J., and a show in Sisters to benefit a Sparrow kid.

By now, you know this, but I’ll say it anyway: Not all of those online stories will be available to anyone to read. For some, you’ll need to be a subscriber. So either subscribe, or pick up a print version of The Bulletin.