The Blue Room remained standing room only through the second set last Saturday night. Because Kansas City still knows a great jazz show when we hear one.
Trumpet Summit is a spectacular mix of KC jazz veterans and youth. With a front line of Mike Metheny, Stan Kessler and Hermon Mehari, you start with three of the best trumpet (and flugelhorn and EVI) players anywhere. Add a rhythm section of Gerald Spaits on bass, T.J. Martley on piano and Brian Steever on drums, and you have one of the most talented jazz ensembles anywhere.
Hearing the ensemble’s take on compositions ranging from Gil Evans to Thad Jones, and from originals to the blues (with an especially wild version of The Chicken Shack), it’s easy to understand why the audience stayed. Between magnificent solos and the masterfully arranged blending of two and three horns (which, as Stan noted, isn’t easy; you don’t want it sounding like the Tijuana Brass), this Trumpet Summit is brass at its best.
If you missed the group, you can catch them at their CD release party in September at Take Five. And you can see below a sampling of how Saturday night looked (as always, clicking on a photo should open a larger version of it).
Trumpet Summit. Left to right: T.J. Martley , Stan Kessler, Gerald Spaits, Brian Steever, Hermon Mehari, Mike Metheny
Stan Kessler on trumpet while Hermon Mehari listens
Hermon Mehari on trumpet while Mike listens
The rhythm section: T.J. Martley, Gerald Spaits and Brian Steever
Gerald Spaits on bass
T.J. Martley on piano
Brian Steever on drums
The front line: Stan Kessler, Hermon Mehari and Mike Metheny
Hermon watches while Mike solos on EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument)
T.J. takes a solo
Stan and Hermon