“Are old?” Gerald interjected.
No, not old. I haven’t showcased nearly enough of the guys who were playing jazz in Kansas City when I first discovered the music in the 1980s. Because these musicians are still performing at their magnificent peak.
Take Gerald Spaits, for instance. This in-demand bassist will support both Karrin Allyson and Mike Metheny in this year’s Prairie Village Jazz Festival. You only command those gigs when you’re acknowledged as one of the best.
There’s far too few opportunities to hear Charles Perkins these days. I first learned his name as the star alto soloist with Eddie Baker’s New Breed Jazz Orchestra. Charles stood out as a saxophonist I couldn’t hear enough. He still is. Meanwhile, Jack Lightfoot dominated as one of this city’s premiere trumpeters. Arny Young on drums fits right in.
Last Friday night at Take Five Coffee + Bar, the Gerald Spaits Quartet proved why Kansas City has been known as home to jazz masters continuously from Basie to today.
These four you can call outstanding. You can call them incredible. You can apply nearly any adjective of praise.
Just don’t call them old.
(As always, clicking on a photo should open a larger version of it.)
The Gerald Spaits Quartet. Left to right: Gerald Spaits on bass, Arny Young on drums, Charles Perkins on alto saxophone, Jack Lightfoot on trumpet.
Charles Perkins on alto
Charles on bass clarinet
Charles, Arny and Jack
Enjoying Gerald's bass
Charles on flute
The Gerald Spaits Quartet at Take Five Coffee + Bar