A Weekly Jazzonian e-Newsletter
 November 27, 2017
A Few Jazz Notes

...is a jazzonian e-newsletter published weekly unless the author is somehow incapacitated. It details the thriving jazz scene in Columbus, Georgia and the surrounding Chattahoochee Valley, written exclusively by
Rusty Taylor, the jester-singer for the vocal jazz band Southern Standard Time
Salutations Fellow Jazzonian,

Greetings!...Welcome to your weekly excursion into the ebullient world of playful rhetoric sponsored by the words torporific:

torporific (adjective): causing sluggish activity.

It has been suggested by people... lots of people... lots of good, descent people... I mean, they may be descent... but these people... and there are a lot of them... record-breaking crowds of people... who claim that Mitch McConnell is, in fact, a turtle; his torporific persona proves it.

* * *

It's Not Jazz But...
Opelika's Songwriter's Night features my friend Ted McVay this Wednesday, November 29 at The Sound Wall at 605 Avenue B in Opelika, AL from 7-10 pm CDT, which is 8-11 pm EDT. Opelika's Songwriters Night features local and regional songwriters 'in the round' at The Sound Wall. Come and enjoy fine original songs performed by the writers themselves in an intimate listening environment. No cover. BYOB.

Enjoy the newsletter...
Groovy Upcoming Events
  • Wednesday, November 29 – Kurt Elling at City Winery in Atlanta starting at 8 pm EDT. Kurt Elling is an American jazz vocalist, composer, lyricist and vocalese performer. Visit Kurt's website by clicking here.
  • Sunday, December 3 – The Hot Club Of Atlanta at Venkman's. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Thursday, December 5 – Ted McVay and Rusty Taylor will sing a set of Ted's original songs at Tavern on Main, sponored by the Columbus Songwriter's Guild. It's not jazz, but there will be interesting harmonies.
  • Friday, December 8 – Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra With Wynton Marsalis at Atlanta Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. NE, starting at 8 pm.
  • Friday, December 8 – Kamasi Washington at Variety Playhouse. Fo' mo' info, click here. To access Kamasi's website, click here.
  • Sunday, December 10, 17, 21-23 – David Ellington's Peanut Gallery Presents A Charlie Brown Christmas At Venkman's starting at 6 pm. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Monday and Tuesday, December 18 and 19 – check starting time – A Charlie Brown Christmas Live is sponsored in part by the Columbus Jazz Society. Click here. fo' mo' info.
  • Sunday, December 10 – Trio Deluxe at Venkman's starting at 12:30 pm EDT. Trio Deluxe plays jazz; the band members are Dan Coy - guitar; Andrea DeMarcus - vocals, bass; John Norris - drums.
  • Friday, December 15 – Atlanta Funk Society at Venkman's starting at 10 pm EDT. Atlanta Funk Society is a 12-piece Funk band from Atlanta, GA, playing classic hits from the '60s, '70s and '80s, including "Superbad" by James Brown, "Underdog" by Sly and The Family Stone, and "Whatcha Gonna Do For Me" by Chaka Kahn. Check out their website by clicking here.
  • Friday, December 22 – Southern Standard Time (my band) will play a vocal Christmas Jazz program for the third straight year at The Loft in downtown Columbus, GA. Free Admission, so if you are downtown from 7-9 pm, come on in from the cold, order a hot beverage, and listen to some groovy Christmas Tunes.
  • Friday, December 29 – Southern Standard Time (my band) will play vocal jazz at the Eighth and Rail in downtown Opelika, AL from 8 'til midnight Central Time.
  • Saturday, January 13 – The Tivon Pennicott Quartet at Venkman's starting at 7:30 pm EDT. Tivon Pennicott was born & raised in Marietta, Georgia in December of 1985. He began studying tenor saxophone in high school, garnering recognition early on as an outstanding soloist in the Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington competition, as well as the Georgia All-state Jazz Band. In 2004, he relocated to Miami to study at the University of Miami, where he had the opportunity to perform alongside artists such as: Dave Liebman, Randy Brecker, and Maria Schneider. Visit Tivon's website by clicking here.
  • Sunday, January 14 – The Glenn Miller Orchestra begins playing at 3 pm at Spivey Hall in Morrow, Georgia. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Saturday, February 3 – The Afro Cuban All Stars at The Rialto Center for the Arts in Atlanta, the Afro-Cuban All Stars band begins at 8 pm EDT. Afro-Cuban All Stars is a Cuban band led by Juan de Marcos González. Their music is a mix of all the styles of Cuban music, including bolero, chachachá, salsa, son montuno, timba, guajira, danzón, rumba and abakua. To visit their website, click here.
  • Friday, February 9 – Diana Krall - Turn Up The Quiet World Tour At Atlanta Symphony Hall.
A Rusty Taylor Christmas
Sponsored by the Isle of Misfit Toys
I am proud to announce that for the third year in a row, my band Southern Standard Time will be playing at The Loft on the Friday before Christmas, December 22 from 7-9 pm EDT, so if you dig a baritone voice crooning familiar seasonal tunes that nostalgically encourage the adolescent dreams of hanging stockings filled with excessive sugary goodness, gaudily decorated Christmas trees, blinking lights, shimmering stars pouring nocturnal rays of Hope onto a silver landscape, trips to Grandma's house, and little elves dancing in outrageous tiny outfits that make you laugh out loud, then you will not want to miss this Yule Tide evening of jazz-influenced Christmas music. It will be a charming night filled with Love; all it needs is you, tapping your feet, nodding your head, and listening with a smile as you sip a steaming cup of holiday joy... marshmallows available on request. Everybody is welcome, regardless of... anything that is not life threatening. Come into one of the coziest venues on the planet and let the anxiety associated with trying to fulfill outrageous expectations dissipate into the atmosphere and then eagerly reaches beyond the distant horizon and into the vast emptiness of space. The inner peace you will feel is its own reward.
This Week at The Loft
Columbus, GA's Weekly Home for Jazz

This Friday, November 30, The Loft will feature vocalist Allison Kirshner and her friends Nick Fiveash (guitar), Ian Morrison (bass) and others. (Trey Byars usually plays drums for this ensemble, but he has a conflicting gig at The Springer.) I, personally, am a fan of Allison. When I first heard her, she sang dulcet-pure notes, but when singing a Billy Holiday song, a certain alluring rawness must be realized or the song falls short of its potential. Allison has been adding a coveted patina to her art that is sometimes necessary when singing certain lyrics, and she improves with each passing hour. Watching her development as a vocalist is a gift for which I am grateful, and it thrills me to continue watching her maturation into the beautiful singer she's become. 

As many of you are aware, The Loft is Columbus, GA's home for live jazz music. Each Friday, from 7-9 pm ET, The Loft features a different jazz group and the many genres from swing to ballads, modal to bebop, Latin to Bossa Nova, etc. Plus, admission is FREE! It's free I tells ya! Full bar... check. Wonderful staff... check. And the best live jazz music in town... checkmate.

Upcoming Schedule :

  • December 01 – Allison Kirshner and Friends
  • December 08 – The Cavaliers under the direction of Jim Evans
  • December 15 – Six String Theory featuring Neil Lucas
  • December 22 – Christmas with Rusty Taylor and Southern Standard Time
  • December 29 – A Solar Quintet New Year/possibly a CD release party

And coming in January is Kevin Vannoy and Chris Otts, so keep your eyes and ears open for the news, which will certainly be included in this e-rag.
Last Week at The Loft
Columbus, GA's Weekly Home for Jazz

Last week's featured musician is from Sao Paulo, Brazil: Paulo Siqueira, and he was beyond awesome. He plays the tenor, alto, and soprano saxophones; the flute; and the bassoon. That's right... the bassoon! Joining him onstage was his friend Chris, who plays percussion, and he had an unusual setup that included a tambourine that was hooked up to an electronic amplifying thingy that allowed the musician to play funky rhythms with his fingers, fist, palm, and knuckles that added a really groovy, not-so-subtle beat that had my soul yearning to dance to the syncopated beat.

Paulo Siqueira also has a CD that I bought: "até a última faixa," which probably translates into something groovy, which the CD is. I'm not a music critic, but the music makes me happy when I listen to it. There is something really special about polyrhythmic music that seems to evoke a light-hearted whimsy combined with a certainty that everything will be all right... that Tuesday will follow Monday... that each sunrise is a special gift... that Love is available to the lowliest minion... that Life is wonderful. Place this CD into your player and crank it up. If you're not dancing in seconds, your heart is beyond repair... but hearts are incapable of dying when the soul is comforted, and Paulo's music certainly soothes my soul.
War on Christmas

Thanksgiving Day has come and gone, leaving nothing but the bitter aftertaste of tryptophan and gluttonous regret, yet, already, a tsunamic deluge of Christmas Consciousness has inundated our social fabric with, among other more innocuous stimuli, radio stations (dedicated to over-stimulating the purchasing impulses of those of us who are too easily coerced to justify our acceptance of rampant avaricious purchasing with religious or nationalistic absolution) that devote seemingly inexhaustible resources towards enticing their listeners to purchase sybaritic commodities that are eagerly consecrated by a nearly cultic imbroglio of consumers who sanctify the destructive and demagogic aspects of Capitalistic speciousness with the panegyric extolment of habitual and disgusting prodigal behavior disguised as a celebration of the natal anniversary of a major religious icon and the excessive commercialization of Patriotism and Religious Compliance to Cupidity in the name of one's chosen deity interwoven with an illusory national security and economic prosperity that rewards money-hoarders while pushing penury beyond the scope of concern--and beginning in early autumn, the musical industry sponsors a three month celebration of massive consumption by playing a popular Christmas-themed musical agenda exclusively save advertising, this, together with television channels that play cheesy Christmas-themed romances throughout the year, engulf our sensibilities with pyroclastic efficiency, yet... There's a war on Christmas!

Every time I hear somebody spew these vile words, I roll my eyes upward with intense pubescent hubris. War on Christmas? No! It's a war on the commercialization of an alleged unconsummated birth of a child by a teenaged virgin! A child born of a virgin? That is impossible! That is a miracle! And if you believe that that is the reason for the season, than its commercialization should piss you off as well.
While viewing the recent Iron Bowl, which was won by Auburn, I, along with every other person in the television audience, was subjected to an endless barrage of advertisements that were created with the exclusive agenda to stimulate the viewers' purchasing inclinations. Among the products and services used to entice capitalistic impulses was a fast food restaurant that coveted the spending money of people who pursue a dietary menu by exciting their formidable appetites with high definition images of pedestrian food stuff as artisan cuisine. One dude comments how he and his partner hadn't eaten such epicurean treasures for such a low price since they were in college. His partner reminds him that while he went to college, the other was in denial, which the former calls a "good school." This reminded me that Trump University's most popular degree was from the College of Denial.
Weekly Area Jams
Eighth and Rail
Every Tuesday 7 - 10 pm CT
The Eighth and Rail in historical downtown Opelika, Alabama is the venue for a wildly groovy weekly jazz jam as hosted by the Jane Drake Jazz Band. It's a cozy celebration of life that has become a buzzing collection of jazz-loving fanatics gathered together in a coterie of peaceful, fun-loving positive energy. I am downright proud as a peacock with enhanced LED-flashing feathers to participate in the jam on a regular basis, and I really love it! Proprietor Mike Patterson makes the wonderful sushi and Miss Tiffany keeps the affable atmosphere at a lovely level of emotive satisfaction. Plus... they serve an awesome cheesecake that'll make you wanna slap yourself so hard as to tell horrific knock-knock jokes to mimes. No lie. We have really talented musicians come in from the bi-state area: Auburn, Montgomery, Tuskegee, Columbus, LaGrange, Fort Valley, et al. The jam begins at 7 pm and ends at 10 pm CT. Hopefully, I'll see you there.

Eighth and Rail
Venkman's Jazz Jam
Every Tuesday starting at 8 pm ET
Venkman's is a nightclub in Atlanta, a venue that Joe Gransden uses for his weekly jazz jam. This is where the Who's Who of the Atlanta Jazz Scene come together to dazzle us mortals. It's free and starts at 8 pm ET. Fo' mo' info, click link below. I've participated in this jam a couple of times, and I love it as well. Joe Gransden always welcomes me with a smile that will melt antarctic glaciers in the middle of winter, which, oddly enough, is during June through August... when it's so hot and humid in middle Georgia that my toenails sweat. Nevertheless, Joe's band often includes keyboardist Kenny Banks (sometimes Kevin Bales), drummer Chris Burroughs and bassist Craig Shaw, and these cats kick it. When I find the transportation, I'm going.

Red Light Cafe Jazz Jam
Every Wed at 8 pm ET

I have not been to the weekly jazz jam at Red Light Cafe, but it is hosted by the Gordon Vernick Quartet, and I am a huge fan of Gordon's, so I'm planning to go soon, and when I do... Ha! I'm very likely to get excited. Fo' mo' info, click here.
Apache Cafe in Atlanta
Every Wed at 9:00 ET

Al Smith's Midtown Jam Session @Apache Cafe!  Contemporary Jazz , Soul, R&B vocalists jam Session. Featuring live band led by keyboardist Al Smith! Vocalists are invited to sign the list and jam with the band, musicians can sit in too... a must attend! Different Dj spinning on the back patio each week! SPECIAL GUEST HOST EVERY WEEK! Doors open at 9pm and list-sign up is at 9pm. Event admission, the day of, at the door, is CASH. Fo' mo' info, click here.
1048 Club in Montgomery
Every Sun at 9:30-12:30 CT

The 1048 Cafe is in Montgomery, AL. The weekly Jazz Jam led by Sam Williams, 9 pm CDT, $5 cover. I don't really know that much about it, but the 1048 has a jazz jam every Sunday from 9ish 'til whenever. Apparently the jam draws some incredible musicians. Fo' mo' info, click here.
Piccolo's Lounge, Auburn

It's not a jam, but the Piccolo lounge offers a comfortable, clubby environment. Leather club chairs, a cozy fireplace and comfy banquettes serve as a relaxing getaway. Enjoy a single malt scotch and relax and unwind from a hectic day or meet friends to hear live jazz every Friday and Saturday night, of non-home football game weekends. Fo' mo' info, click here.
A Little Lunch Music at Jule Collins Smith Museum, Auburn University
On Thursdays at Noon, make a lunch date with our region’s finest musicians. A Little Lunch Music is an informal, come-and-go performance presented by JCSM and coordinated by musician Patrick McCurry. You can sit in and listen to the entire performance, dine in the Museum Cafe from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. CT, browse the Museum Shop or explore the galleries.
  • November 2 - On Thursday, October 19, from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert by Plains 2, featuring trombonist Matthew Wood and pianist Joshua Pifer.
  • November 9 - Clarinetist Patricia Crisp with pianist Beibei Lin
  • November 16 - pianist Vijay Venkatesh in collaboration with Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta
  • November 23 - No concert... it's Thanksgiving
  • November 30 - classical guitarist Kevin Manderville
  • December 7 - hornist William Shaffer with pianist Joshua Pifer
  • December 13 - The Auburn Music Club Singers

Jazz Association of Macon
We Promote Jazz in Macon
and Middle Georgia
Our purpose is to:
Encourage and support creation, presentation, and preservation of jazz music.
Support the creation of new audiences for jazz music.
Provide education and information about jazz.
Encourage young musicians to learn and appreciate jazz.
Develop a network among local and regional jazz advocates.
Increase awareness of jazz events and musicians in our community.

To read their blog, click here.
Area Musicians
Actually, this is a link to a page of my personal website, but it makes it much easier t maintain. It is a dynamic list of area musicians that will, hopefully, be continually updated until I can no longer do it. If you are a musician who is not listed or you are listed but with invalid info, please let me know, and I'll make the appropriate revisions. Thank you, and click here to visit the link.
High Museum of Art: Atlanta Jazz
Live jazz in the Robinson Atrium at the Atlanta High Museum of Art every 3rd Friday of the month. Fo' mo' info, click here .
On-line Radio
  • WCUG 88.5 Cougar Radio - Columbus State University.
  • KUNR 88.7 Reno, Nevada.
  • KNCJ 89.5 Reno, Nevado. (I listen to this station on Saturday evening from 9-1 a.m. ET to catch Saturday Night Jazz hosted by Scot Marshall and Dallas Smith.)
  • Saturday Night Jazz hosted by Scot Marshall and Dallas Smith (Columbus, GA native) - Scot and Dallas bring their rich musical experiences together in "Saturday Night Jazz" to feature music which ranges from the latest releases to jazz classics and occasional recordings by local artists, as well as announcements of upcoming local jazz events in the Reno-Tahoe area. "Saturday Night Jazz" is supported by the Reno Jazz Orchestra and For the Love of Jazz.The program airs every Saturday evening from 1pm-10pm Pacific Time.
  • WCLK 99.1 Atlanta's Jazz Station, Clark Atlanta University.
  • Adore Jazz - Adore Jazz makes listeners relax, feel, think and smile through listening to the finest vocal jazz.
  • WTSU 88.9 Troy State University - Ray Murray's Jazz Radio Show Saturday nights at 10 pm Central Time.
  • WVAS 90.7 Montgomery - Jazz, Blues, News, and views.
Video of the Week
I wonder how many remember the true grooviness of the Muppet Show?

The second video: In 1981, the earliest version of Cobham’s Glass Menagerie (with guitarist Mike Stern and multi-instrumentalist Michal Urbaniak) recorded the Stratus album, but by year-end the band had changed personnel. This live version of “AC/DC” features the original version of the group.
The catchy and funky tune serves as an infectious vehicle for solos by Urbaniak on the lyricon and Stern, making one wish that this ensemble had stayed together much longer.

Billy Cobham, drums
Michal Urbaniak, lyricon
Mike Stern, guitar
Gil Goldstein, keyboards
Tim Landers, bass
Christmas Music by Area Musicians

Some area musicians have recorded Christmas music. Simply click on the cover art, and the link will send you to a magical, virtual store where you can buy the music. If I've missed an area musician who has recorded Christmas music, let me know and I'll include it here. Support local musicians; otherwise, Santa will leave you coal in your stockings.
Pat Trudell
One Silent Night
Annie Sellick
Let's Make A Christmas Memory
Joe Gransden
I'll Be Home For Christmas

If you know of an area musician who has recorded a Christmas CD, please let me know. Thanks.
Memories of Columbus Jazz

Memories of Jazz
The History of Swing and Jazz in the Columbus, Georgia Area
From 1940 — 1980... Who played... Where they played
by Gene Kocian

Part Two of Memories of Jazz is The Bands: The Edgar White, Suzy Freeman, and Jimmy Fuller Bands . The photo introducing this chapter is of Tommy Tucker's Band at the Idle Hour Park Ballroom in 1938. The opposite much smaller photo is of the Eva Haines Band on the George W. Riverboat in 1938 with three unknown musicians.  

The author recalls that in the late 1920s or early 30s the Suzy Freeman Band played in a lot behind Dinglewood Drug Store, which was located, at the time, at the triangle atop Wynn's Hill where Wynnton Road and Buena Vista Road intersect. This interests me specifically because there is a drive-through liquor store in that building now, and the Dinglewood Pharmacy is still on Wynnton Road, a bit more east, right across the street to AFLAC's corporate headquarter.

By the way, Dinglewood Pharmacy is home to the Lieutenant's wold famous scrambled dog, which is a hot dog bun laid flat on an elongated shallow bowl with (at least when I order) two cut up hot dogs smothered in Lieutenant's chili, topped with small cubes of cheddar cheese, slathered with mustard and Tabasco sauce and crackers. There's a major controversy about whether or not the Lieutenant is the originator of the scrambled dog—there's a cat in Albany who claims to be the culinary inventor of the scrambled dog, but I know the Lieutenant, and he's a really nice dude, so I will always support his claim as the culinary marvel's inventor even if hard evidence supports the contrary. Legend has it that when he was governor of the great state of Georgia, Jimmy Carter would send state troopers, sirens a-blazing, to retrieve the scramble dog to the state capitol.

The last photo in this section is of Jimmy Fuller's waiving a baton at the University of North Carolina dance band featuring Warren Clayton and John Best, a trumpeter who played with the bands of Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Bob Crosby, and Benny Goodman. This section comes quietly to an end with the tease of reading about Fletcher Henderson and the Cuthbert Jazz Festival.

Peace Through Music
Electric Boobs

Elton John is one of the most recognized popular musicians ever. He's been making music seemingly forever, and one of his early hits was "Benny and the Jets," which has the lyrics: "She's got electric boots and a mohair suit/ You know I read it in a magazine." Innocuous enough. Sure... but this song came out in the early 70s when I was around ten, and what I heard with my prepubescent ears was: "She's got electric boobs and a Mohawk, too/ You know I read it in a magazine." Yes, even at the age of ten, I was fascinated with the female anatomy.

My paternal grandmother was an irrevocably Catholic widow, a strict but loving disciplinarian who raised nine children and babysat for probably one billion other children. In the living room, she had two portraits: one of her husband, my grandfather (who sat regally in a chair, a young, beaming man in his late thirties, cross-legged and smiling at the camera in his tan U.S. Army uniform) and a portrait of Jesus with piercing blue eyes and light brown hair highlighted with subtle streaks of blonde. It wouldn't surprise me if her house had been blessed by the pope before the Catholic Mass' text was translated from Latin into secular vernacular. It was always the center of practically every family event, an embryonically comforting venue that always salved the conflicts that oft arise between loved ones.

Again, it was the early seventies. I was only around ten, Elton John's song about Benny's jets could be heard every time one turned on her radio; rock-n-roll was in its prime, guitar solos lasted at least ten minutes; hippies still rallied in Haight-Ashley; the culture evoked a less rigid morality, especially concerning the unadorned human body; sexual exploration was strongly encouraged, and nudity was celebrated. (Yet, in Alabama, George Corley Wallace centered his political platform of keeping segregation alive in the South.) 

If my mammary, uh... memory... if my memory serves me correctly, Grandma was in the kitchen cooking, which seemed to be all she ever did. It is early afternoon; I walk into the television room and see my uncle sleeping on the couch, which wasn't unusual 'cause he worked nights, but "The Graduate" was on the ol' boob tube. (boob... I was ten... and very affected by mammillary influence. Hell, my favorite piece of fried chicken is the breast!)

If you are unfamiliar with "The Graduate," it is a movie starring a young Dustin Hoffman, a middle-aged but visually stunning Anne Bancroft, and a nubile Katharine Ross. Hoffman's character is named Ben Braddock, who has recently graduated from college. His parent's are encouraging him towards a lucrative career, but Ben is more into lying around the pool. Soon, however, he is seduced by the wife of his father's best friend... Mrs. Robinson, the same Mrs. Robinson addressed by Simon and Garfunkel in their hit song. 

Mrs. Robinson's daughter Elaine, played by Katharine Ross, has also returned home, and Mrs. Robinson has no intention of losing her sexual playmate to her daughter, but her cuckolded husband and Ben's parents coax the youngsters to go on a date. As a show of solidarity with his more mature sexual partner, Ben takes Elaine to a strip club, and this really upsets the younger woman. She runs away. Ben chases her, catches up with her, apologizes, and, of course, they fall in love, which creates the conflict of the story.

The scene of the stripper really caught my ten-year-old attention. The "actress" had tassels hanging from her nipples, but she rotated them in opposite directions by undulating her deviously sinuous body in slow, especially seductive waves that easily derailed my mind far, far away from any of the Lord's commandments, especially the one about coveting my neighbor's wife. The dancing boobs, to me, was freaking awesome. Obviously, these were "electric boobs." I still don't know what a mohair suit is, but if a woman has electric boobs, she would definitely have a Mohawk haircut, too. The irony of this story is that my unexpected introduction to the sensuously stimulating electric boobs occurred in my paternal grandmother's sacrosanct house that was still damp from its domiciliary baptism. All I know is that electric boobs are far more fascinating to stare at than a portrait of Caucasian Jesus.

Peace Through Music