Evan Arntzen Octet featuring Jon-Erik Kellso @ Dizzy's - New York City Article

Evan Arntzen Octet featuring Jon-Erik Kellso @ Dizzy's

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Evan Arntzen Octet featuring Jon-Erik Kellso @ Dizzy's

Jul 14, 2019

Evan Arntzen Octet featuring Jon-Erik Kellso
Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola
Jazz at Lincoln Center
Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall
Broadway at 60th Street, 5th Floor
Monday, July 15

Still in his early '30s, multi-reed player Evan Arntzen might be described as a busy sideman, but to me he's always personified the definition of "team player." This, perhaps, is the result of being sired in one of the most formidable, multi-generational family of traditional jazz players in British Columbia, starting with his grandfather, who starting playing clarinet and soprano saxophone after the general fashion of Sidney Bechet whilst Pere Bechet was himself still highly active.  Evan Arntzen (not quite the youngest of the family - that would be his brother and frequent costar, guitarist-banjoist Arnt Arntzen) himself has been instrumental (in multiple senses of the word) in his playing for such star bandleaders as Vince Giordano, Jon-Erik Kellso, and Bria Skonberg; thus it's about time he's had a hot new CD release and a gig in a major, mainstream NYC club to celebrate.  

The new album, Jazz Crush is an ingenious collection not only of tunes (both good-old-good-ones and Arntzen originals) but of classic jazz styles: the opener, "Susie" makes me think of white 1920s bands like Red Nichols and the California Ramblers, while "Tears" evokes King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band complete with original cornet breaks, "Disconnected Papa" very deliverately delivers the classic blues style of Bessie and the other Smiths (courtesy ace vocalist Mara Kaye, whom you may still remember as "Ida Blue"), "Help Yourself" is late '40s style swing reminiscent of an Ellington small band, whilst other tracks take us back to the New Orleans revival and Preservation Hall.  It's the most fun listening to a new album that I've had all year thus far, and, in person, they're bound to be even more so.

Tomorrow's line-up at Dizzy's:

Jon-Erik Kellso - trumpet
Harvey Tibbs - trombone
Rossano Sportiello - piano
Tal Ronen - bass
Kevin Dorn - drums
Adam Brisbin - guitar/banjo
Mara Kaye - vocals

For information and reservations, please click here:

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Author: Will Friedwald
Photography by: STEPHEN SOROKOFF

Author: Will Friedwald

Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, VANITY FAIR and PLAYBOY magazine and reviews current shows for THE CITIVIEW NEW YORK. He also is the author of nine books, including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.

New Books:

THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP VOCAL ALBUMS (Pantheon Books / Random House, November 2017)