I got out of my comfort zone recently and traveled to Columbus, Georgia, to hear a friend and musical colleague, Tyrone Jackson, play at the Liberty Theatre. Tyrone was the guest artist of the Columbus Jazz Society. I know him as a fantastic pianist/keyboardist. He did not disappoint. In fact, he was better than ever. What a delicious night of listening I experienced!Read more about Tyrone Jackson on his website, www.tyronejackson.com.
Tyrone classifies his style as a blend of straight ahead, contemporary, funk and fusion jazz. His musical influences include Herbie Hancock; Oscar Peterson; Joe Sample; George Duke; McCoy Tyner; and Earth, Wind & Fire.
A talented composer as well, Tyrone showcased his writing chops throughout the evening. In fact, he started off with one of his own called Another Voyage, which is also the title track of his latest CD.
“It was written with Herbie Hancock's Maiden Voyage and Kenny Barron's Voyage in mind,” he said.
The group then played that blues favorite, Thelonious Monk‘s Straight, No Chaser. A Bob Reynolds tune entitled What She Didn't Say followed. Then Tyrone and the group dazzled with a cooking version of Chick Corea’s Spain.
Throughout this energizing concert, the musicians on stage were in complete control of rhythmic complexities, scintillating improvisations, and perfectly placed dynamics. Tyrone occasionally sprinkled his creative solos with [lightning-speed licks]. He showed his softer side with one of his own compositions inspired by experiencing insomnia while watching his wife peacefully sleeping, called Where's My Lovely Day?
At one point, he surprised with an electronic device called, "jazz scat." Tyrone explained that the keys act like a trigger to certain sounds which are actual sampled voices. It’s hard to describe, but it is slightly mind-blowing if you’ve never heard it before. I had not.
Tyrone was joined by a marvelous [band featuring] Michael Hoskins, sax; Alexander Pershounin, bass; and Justin Chesarek, drums. Each was completely at ease with all the rhythmic challenges, and each put on a veritable exhibition with their numerous solos, displaying a fine mastery of their instruments.
Words are inadequate to describe the inspiration one gets from hearing such a superior performance live. I simply wish all of you could have been there. I got the feeling of being in a first-rate jazz club in New York City, the Mecca of jazz. The sophisticated CJS audience, which is used to hearing fine jazz in person, showed their love with ringing applause throughout the night.
Afterwards, Tyrone and his group joined in a jam session, which always follows the CJS concert. I don’t know which segment excited me most, but why should I have to choose when the jazz is this excellent?
The Columbus Jazz Society holds a concert and jam session the 2nd Sunday of every month from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at the Liberty Theatre and Cultural Center, 813 8th Ave Columbus, GA 31901, 706-649-7291. I recommend it highly.
Jane's website is www.janedrakemusic.com.
The Columbus Jazz Society is online at www.columbusjazzsociety.com.