A Weekly Jazzonian e-Newsletter
 November 6, 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 jingoistic and nebbish:

  • Jingoistic is the adjectival form of the noun jingoism, which means - extreme nationalism characterized by a belligerent foreign policy; chauvinistic patriotism.
  • Nebbishy is the adjectival form of the noun nebbish, which means - a person regarded as weak-willed or timid.

Within the confines of a relatively insignificant (yet desperate to be acknowledged as an viable population of jingoistic nationalists) gaggle of easily goaded adults that splotch the map of our nation with seemingly innocuous boundaries, there exists a myopic mindset of U.S.A. citizens who justify their indifference to penury by staidly proclaiming a hubristic manifest destiny that stretches to include the right to expand one's desires as far as she covets, which is followed almost immediately by building walls (around her palatial estate, her business, her nation...) to shut out the dismal reality that many human beings suffer silently in filth while indifferent couples insouciantly ride by in shiny chrome carriages with tinted windows that reflect the face of a nebbishy nonagenarian mendicant with a crepitating face as he nervously stares at his own emaciated reflection in the vehicle's window on the other side of which a grinning, long-legged socialite unintentionally hides as she haughtily laughs, Champaign foam silently falling onto a lush white carpet of the limousine that quietly crawls along serpentine curbside walkways through specious urbanity toward epicurean satiety where the gay couple will dine in four-star elegance... the vagabond staggers into a cardboard box for the evening.

* * *

Before I officially begin this week's rhetorical journey, I want to tell you the story of my trek to Venkman's in Atlanta that I took with my friends Alia Torres, Jenny Dunford, and my nephew Austin. The venue promotes Joe Gransden's weekly high-energy jazz jam. 

Nothing much happened on our drive to Atlanta unless you want to count, which I do (because it is important to cherish each allotted terrestrial moment), a bunch of mirthful confabulation and singing, a cappella, a lot of sound but no fury, no electronic music only panegyric and dulcet expressions of love for one another, an acknowledgement that, within our current manifestation, times shared with friends are among the most valued of treasures. 

Jenny drove. She's a retired policewoman, and she's a fairly aggressive driver. (Yes, I'm trying nearly too comically to employ the literary technique of understatement because I don't want anyone to know that her driving scares the shit out o' me; fortunately, I wore my brown pants, which is the joke I told after a harrowing "near miss" when, in a psychotic lane change, a tiny and nimble sports car with a maniac driver nearly clipped the front-right fender of the van that I recently purchased, which is another story, but I digress...) Austin slept. 

I told the two jokes that I made-up just that day:

Joke one: I'm not a procrastinator because I don't get paid.

Joke number two: I never multiply 12 by 12 twice... it's too gross.

We told more jokes and sang more songs, and I was smiling with a grin that shamed the iconic felicific and beatific feline dreamed up by the explosively creative mind of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. We arrived at Venkman's, got seated, and waited while snacking on quaint hors d'oeuvres. Jenny drank a beer; Alia had shots of something; Austin had Coke, and I drank water. Slowly, the musicians gather until, nearly magically, the core band started to play: Joe Gransden (emcee of the evening's jam, vocals, and trumpet), Kevin Bales (keyboard), Craig Shaw (bass), and a drummer I didn't get a chance to meet. We were all blown away by the superior quality of jazzonian musical acuity.

Joe called me up to sing the second song of the jam: "Come Fly with Me" in Bb. I did very well. Well... the crowd approved lovingly, and many of the musicians lauded my singing, so I'm encouraged to believe that I had done pretty well. It's been recorded, live-streamed on facebook. So...

Alia was called up to sing "God Bless the Child," and she killed it. She had the voice, the stare, the smile, the subtle sway of her hips, her silhouette gracefully transforming her physiognomy into ethereal seduction, her spirit delighting in the moment. She easily won over the crowd. She easily won over the musicians. She easily won over Joe. Later, she was called up to do a duet with Joe, and they nailed it. They were simply adorable. They hit it off almost instantly. 

I was called up later and sang "Cherokee" in Bb. Unfortunately, I could not hear the bass really well, so I was behind the beat the whole time. After the jam ended, we hung out a bit just talking, flirting, and simply enjoying the moment of communal camaraderie. We had already planned to return on December 5 before we loaded me in the van and headed south. Jenny recorded the binary images of me and Alia on a new recording devise she recently purchased. She said that she'd put 'em on YouTube soon. I'm a bit anxious to see/hear the recording, but I'm really looking forward to returning next month.

I count myself one of the most serendipitous of persons alive. It is great to visit Hotlanta from Cool-umbus, but I am very fortunate to have a home at the Eighth and Rail in Opelika, Alabama, a cozy venue that has a weekly jazz jam also on Tuesdays, and it'll be good to get back there this week, especially since Auburn University's football team spanked the Georgia Bulldogs who were undefeated and ranked number one in the nation. The jam at Eighth and Rail doesn't draw the number of musicians as does the jam in Atlanta, obviously, but the quality of musicianship is just as spellbinding. The pace is less frenetic but the love and friendship that it draws is one of the most powerful in the Universe. Either way, it seems that the two jazz jams I dig the most add so much peace to their respective communities that I would love to share them with everyone. World Peace would then be inevitable.
Groovy Upcoming Events
  • Tuesday, November 14 – City Winery in Atlanta presents Louis Prima, Jr. starting at 8 pm.
  • Wednesday, November 22 – Symphony Hall in Atlanta presents John McLaughlin and Jimmy Herring in concert starting at 7 pm.
  • Friday, Nov 24, Dave Koz at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Koz plays instrumental pop covers and some upbeat tunes, and generally sticks to the fusion production formula: background vocalists, synthesizers, and drum machines, a minimum amount of solo space, and so on. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Sunday, Dec 3, The Hot Club Of Atlanta at Venkman's. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Friday, December 8 – Symphony Hall in Atlanta presents Wynton Marsalis in concert starting at 8 pm. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Friday, December 8, Kamasi Washington at Variety Playhouse. Fo' mo' info, click here.
This Week at The Loft
Columbus, GA's Weekly Home for Jazz

Snakebite Six is the featured band for this week's jazz concert at The Loft, and these cats throw down some Dixieland Music so authentically that one can smell the brine of oceanic influence from the Gulf of Mexico that snuggles the shores and messages the coastal bight's accreted alluvion. I dare claim with the certainty of a psychopathic megalomaniac--with tiny hands and adorned with an entirely too lengthy China-made tie--that even if you are a statue and come hear the band's contrapuntal melodies, you will dance; their toe-tapping encouragement is as subtle as a mouse loose in a burlesque show. Snakebite Six makes people happy. 'Nuff said... or written. 

I always look forward to hearing these cats play; I smile too easily as the ebb and flow of dynamic music entertains all who listen. Guaranteed to blow your mind like the O'Jays' Rubber Band Man. If the current nationalistic ennui has got you thinking of staying home to watch the fall of the House of Cards while eating a wish sandwich and drinking tap water neat, I then strongly encourage you to make the effort to get your backside off the coach and drive to The Loft to see/hear these cats play... FREE ADMISSION. The sanity you save may be your very own. Oh... a wish sandwich (according to the original Blues Brothers of SNL legend) is when one has two pieces of day-old bread and wish you had some meat.

Upcoming Schedule :

  • Nov. 10 – The Schwob Jazz Orchestra. Dr. This is the CSU Big Band and will be performing in the Loft Music Hall (or Green Room). Kevin Whalen director.
  • Nov. 17 – SnakeBite 6. With this band its always Mardi Grass.
  • Nov. 24 – Paulo. Brazilian saxophonist, Paulo Shakida and his band will take you on a guided tour of Caribian and Brazilian music.
  • Dec. 22 – Christmas with Rusty Taylor and Southern Standard Time
Last Week at The Loft
Columbus, GA's Weekly Home for Jazz

It was standing room only as the internationally renowned Schwob Jazz Orchestra dazzled the packed room of about ten thousand people last week in the Music Hall of The Loft for a special edition of the venue's weekly jazz concert. OK. The room couldn't possibly hold that many people, but the room was wall-to-wall with raptured people, each of whom were riveted to the stage by the sheer musical thaumaturgy of about sixteen enchanted minstrels leading the audience on auricular journeys that transported each listener to individualized destinations wherein peace, melody, love, harmony, and rhythm danced together in elegantly woven tapestries by which the entire city was embryonically wrapped.
Personal Concern For the Week

Within the zeitgeist of today's terrestrial manifestation it seems that all the men of a certain advanced age have, at sometime in their sublunary existence, sated their lascivious urges by domineering the emotions and/or physical vitality of weaker people in order to either expose their salacious intentions to penetrate the vulnerability of their victims or they actually ejaculate their unrestrained sexual cravings into unwilling biologic folds simply to satisfy their insatiable egos, not as a show of affection but as a model for unabated power, I fear, as fifty-three year old male who has been confined to life in a wheelchair for the past thirty-one years, that when I hug a female, especially if she's uncommonly attractive, my arms (over which I have limited control and no sensation) may slip and come into contact with certain parts of the female's anatomy that may encourage consensual sexual intentions, or it may also quicken disdaining reproach for attempting to enforce unwanted coitus, yet I must reiterate that I have no sensation below my shoulders; my decrepitated hands feel nothing, so if, by chance, my fingers touch another's pudendum or derriere, it is not to successfully complete the task of President George H. W. Bush's favorite magician: David Cop-a-feel; it is instead, purely incidental contact.
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 have been grooving on Crosby, Stills, and Nash for about a half o' a year now. No lie. These cats sing with serious harmony. I've been really groovin' on Daylight Again, which has ominous Civil War allusions that seem relevant in today's social malaise. The lyrics are hauntingly poignant:

Daylight again
Following me to bed
I think about a hundred years ago
How my father's bled

I think I see a valley
Covered with bones in blue
All the brave soldiers that cannot get older
Been asking after you

Hear the past a' calling
From Armageddon's side
When everyone's talking and no one is listening
How can we decide

Do we find the cost of freedom
Buried in the ground
Mother Earth will swallow you
Lay your body down

Stephen Stills
Do you know how many times during the week that I look at a clock at around 3:30 pm on a glorious, cloudless day, and I think to myself, "What a glorious afternoon. If it weren't for ineffable benevolent puissance, I'd still be stuck in the wretched hell-hole of corporate indifference, festering away in the septic wasteland of emotional decay within a shining façade of capitalistic grandeur that brightly illumines false hope, a lighthouse that attracts inflated ambition toward an illusory fantasy that ultimately leads to destruction like the insectival curiosity of a moth to a flame?"

Peace Through Music