Music News & Reviews

Jazz Town: KC Jazz Orchestra performs Hollywood classics with a twist

The next live performance/recording session for the “12th Street Jump” radio show features guitarist Danny Embrey and the music of Wes Montgomery. It’s at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Broadway Jazz Club, 3601 Broadway.
The next live performance/recording session for the “12th Street Jump” radio show features guitarist Danny Embrey and the music of Wes Montgomery. It’s at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Broadway Jazz Club, 3601 Broadway. FILE PHOTO

When it comes to music for movies, it’s probably true — they don’t make songs like they used to. And for decades, those old movie-related songs have been a treasure trove of material for jazz.

So the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra’s Friday concert, “As Time Goes By,” celebrates this classic era in American music, a time the best songs were too big to stay in the confines of a movie and grew to take on lives of their own. These tunes are standards for good reason: Those strong melodies are wrapped around equally strong chordal frameworks that give jazz players and arrangers plenty of ideas to make new melodies of their own.

It’s just the kind of thing the jazz orchestra, directed by trumpeter Clint Ashlock, does so well.

This isn’t just big-band nostalgia — it’s a new thing and an old thing at the same time.

The show is at 8 p.m. Friday in Helzberg Hall of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $25 to $50; call 816-994-7222 or go to KauffmanCenter.org.

Noteworthy

▪ The next live performance/recording session for the “12th Street Jump” radio show features guitarist Danny Embrey and the music of Wes Montgomery. It’s at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Broadway Jazz Club, 3601 Broadway.

The Broadway also has pianist Roger Wilder at 7 p.m. Thursday, singer Dave Stephens at 7 p.m. Friday, and singer and bassist Bryan Hicks at 7 p.m. Saturday, followed by guitarist Beau Bledsoe and Michael McClintock at 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

▪ The Blue Room, 1600 E. 18th St., has singer and bassist Bryan Hicks and his quartet in a welcome session for the Folk Alliance at 7 p.m. Sunday. The Louis Neal Big Band performs at 7 p.m. Monday. Bassist Tyrone Clark’s quartet appears at 7 p.m. Thursday, the Sons of Brasil are on at 8:30 p.m. Friday, and bassist James Ward’s band appears at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

▪ Take Five Coffee + Bar, at 6601 W. 135th St., Suite A-21, in Overland Park (behind the Von Maur store), has tenor saxophonist Andrew McGhie’s group at 8 p.m. Friday. Reed man Tim Doherty’s 9 Plus 1, with three brass, three reeds and three rhythm plus guitar, plays from its big book of unique arrangements at 8 p.m. Saturday.

▪ Highlights at the Green Lady Lounge, 1809 Grand Blvd., include the Buck Clayton Revival Show featuring the music of the former Count Basie trumpet star, at 8:30 p.m. Sunday; vibraphonist Peter Schlamb’s trio at 9 p.m. Monday, organist Ken Lovern’s OJT at 9 p.m. Wednesday and again at 9:30 p.m. Saturday; drummer Kevin Frazee’s group at 9 p.m. Thursday; and singer Molly Hammer at 8:30 p.m. Friday.

▪ The Jazz Underground series at the Westport CoffeeHouse Theatre, 4010 Pennsylvania Ave., has bassist Jeff Harshbarger’s group at 8 p.m. Thursday.

▪ The midday jazz series at Johnson County Community College is back. Singer and pianist Pamela Baskin-Watson and her quartet appear at noon Tuesday in Recital Hall in Carlsen Center. It’s free.

To reach Joe Klopus, call 816-234-4751 or send email to jklopus@kcstar.com.

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