Monday, December 20, 2010

KC Jazz for Christmas, 2010

’Twas the week before Christmas. I needed a gift
For a new KC jazz fan who wanted a lift.
“I know about Basie, ’bout Lester and Bird.
“But who’s playing now? Tell me, what's today’s word?
“Point me to CDs that are current and clear.
“What new KC jazz was released this past year?”

Well, there’s Metheny’s new one – Mike and not Pat –
Hearing Mike’s E.V.I., can’t go wrong with that.
Add Wilder’s keyboards, Embry’s guitar, what fun!
Bowman’s bass, Draper’s drums, you’ll love 60.1.
A blues and a ballad, then music so brash,
This delivers a sound you can’t otherwise match.

If acoustic’s your preference, I’m sure you’d agree,
When Turkish and jazz blend on Taman Abi,
With Beau Bledsoe on oud and Harshbarger’s bass,
Sait Arat’s darbuka (unmatched anyplace),
Add in Rich Wheeler’s tenor: a CD to seek.
Alaturka plays jazz that’s fun and unique.

Or you want more outlandish? You want less demure?
I know your CD, know you’ll love it for sure.
The People’s Liberation Big Band of Greater KC:
It’s not Basie or Benny. It’s jazz that's been freed.
Untraditional big band rattling musical puns. 
Best way to describe it? This jazz is just fun.

You’ve heard him ’round town backing Lonnie and Shay
But here he’s alone. It’s an intimate play
Of piano once subtle, dynamic yet sure,
Pulls you in, turns your head, you listen and you’re
In a Lush Life, or Mars. You are Live at Jardine’s,
Mark Lowrey’s piano you should hear, by all means.

Big band, it returns: The Gates BBQ Suite
KC jazz celebration of our favorite treat.
With May I Help You? and Heavy On Sauce,
Compositions by Watson, not once at a loss.
The Concert Jazz Orchestra, UMKC,
Shines jazz's bright future. They prove it, you’ll see.

“That’s it! I want all!" exclaimed KC jazz fan.
“If they’re all in my stocking, I’m one happy man.
“I’ll always like Basie and Lester and Bird,
“But it’s two-thousand-ten and to this I’ve been spurred:
“To hear today’s jazz and in all of its might.
“So Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”


You, too, can (and should) have all of these CDs:
  • Mike Metheny’s 60.1 was discussed here. You can purchase it from Mike’s web site, here, or download it from iTunes, here.
  • Alaturka was photographed here. Taman Abi can be purchased from their web site, here, or downloaded from iTunes, here.
  • The People’s Liberation Big Band of Greater KC was showcased last week, here. Their CD can be purchased here, or downloaded from iTunes, here.
  • Mark Lowrey’s Live at Jardine’s is available in Kansas City at Streetside Records and at Jardine's.
  • The Blue Room performance of Bobby Watson’s The Gates BBQ Suite was photographed here. The CD can be purchased from CDBaby, here, or downloaded from iTunes, here.


  1. Among your many skills, you are a word-smith as well. In addition to your excellent listening suggestions, try "Live from JCCC's Yardley Hall," featuring Pete Eye, Scott McDonald, Tyrone Clark, and Tommy Ruskin. And the proceeds support the JCCC Jazz Series.

  2. Anon: That is an outstanding idea, and a CD I mistakenly overlooked because I don't have it yet. I need to pick up a copy and when I do, I may owe it a post of its own.


Comments are welcome. If you prefer, you can reach me directly at kcjazzlark(at)gmail(dot)com.