Monday, July 1, 2013

In Lieu of 1000 Words: Trumpet Summit at The Blue Room

The show started at 8:30. That's when I walked in, give or take a few minutes. I was about to hand over the $10 cover charge when the ticket seller warned me, “It’s standing room only.” I thought a moment then gave her my money, adding, “Good. I’m glad that room is packed.” The ticket seller laughed (then she found me an open seat on the floor. It pays to be a regular and make the ticket seller laugh).

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

Mike Metheny

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

Stan Kessler

Hermon watches while Mike solos on EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument)

Hermon Mehari

T.J. takes a solo

Stan and Hermon

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this, as I was working. Great photos, especially the one of Gerald. Keep up the great images.


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