Have you always wanted to know more about jazz music, but didn't know where to start? For beginners and experts alike, the & & SPOKANE JAZZ ORCHESTRA & & will be kicking off its season by paying tribute to the classic songs and artists of jazz on Saturday at The Met.
The beauty of this concert lies in the rare opportunity to hear actual live versions of the great standards performed by professional-level musicians in Spokane. "It's a time to celebrate the history and the roots of jazz and the classic pieces of jazz, " says Dan Keberle, director for the Spokane Jazz Orchestra. "There are some very, very fine players who live in this area, so the quality of the product is very high. "
In keeping with the theme of the concert, SJO will be playing well-known songs by respected artists/composers such as Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Harry James and Duke Ellington. "Every song that will be played, people will recognize, " claims Keberle, who in addition to being the orchestra's director is the conductor and plays trumpet in the band. "These are the original arrangements, expressly written for this type and size group. "
With this in mind, you know that you will be hearing the songs as they were intended by their creators, undiminished by time in the importance or listening pleasure of. Today, we can still hear elements of these jazz greats in popular, contemporary music. Whether it's Van Morrison singing about Jelly Roll, the resurgence of swing bands influenced by Harry James like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy or the numerous hip-hop artists sampling and rapping over jazz tunes, the wide influence of this music is something that everyone can appreciate.
One of the most exciting things about the concert is that the SJO will be joined by the renowned Bill Allred's Classic Jazz Band. The Allred Classic Jazz Band, like its name implies, specializes in playing classic jazz standards. This hard-swinging unit consists of eight pro musicians from all parts of the music spectrum who came together, initially, to play the classics just for the fun of it. Ten years and eight recordings later, the band still seeks to keep the legacy of jazz alive with a repertoire that includes music from Armstrong and Ellington as well as such modern day arrangers as Scott Whitfield and John Bambridge. Literally, it's two shows for the price of one.
Now into its 26th season in Spokane, SJO has built its reputation upon a history of talent, longevity and hard work in the Northwest. Keberle has been director of the 18-member group for the last six years, but has played with them for 11. They frequently play out of town around the Northwest and also perform with various other jazz ensembles in Spokane. The group sponsors four major concerts annually, and, due to last year's success, will once again be putting on a dance at the Ag-Trade Center in Spokane on New Year's Eve with the Spokane Symphony.
& & & lt;i & The Spokane Jazz Orchestra and Bill Allred's Classic Jazz Band perform at The Met on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 8 pm. Tickets: $19.50; $17.50, seniors, students, military. Call: 325-SEAT. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &
& & (hed)Liners & & & &
With a big wad of label dough behind them (thanks in part to the success of unlikely labelmate, Britney Spears -- oh the irony...), (HED) PLANET EARTH is imposing itself on the public consciousness as more than just the latest in a long series of Korn/Limp Bizkit clones.
Carefully tailored, angry boy hip-hop tinged heavy rock -- flavored with the requisite explicatives, braggadocio and no small amount of misogyny -- is (hed)'s stock in trade. You know, the kind of stuff that drives certain teenage boys wild and most parents to the brink of madness. What sets these guys apart is the fact that they manage to back up their dark lyricism with razor sharp guitars and tightly woven rhythms and a well-developed sense of dynamics. When all is said and done, (hed) P.E. do the rap/metal thing better than anyone on the planet. The band hits Boomerang's on Friday.
(hed) formed in Huntington Beach, Calif., back in 1994 when Jahred (aka M.C.U.D.) and guitarist Westyle became friends after months of close encounters at local punk and hip-hop shows. Setting up shop in the confluence of hardcore and rap, the band (now a six-piece) began to claw out some recognition in a scene bursting with similarly heavy outfits. Their road to success and recognition wasn't exactly an easy one.
As Jahred puts it, "Nobody paid their dues as much as (hed), dude. I don't care what anybody says. "
The new record is a departure from the band's self-titled 1997 debut album in a couple of significant ways. First of all, the band members themselves have changed considerably over the past year.
"I'm talking a lot about the rock 'n' roll lifestyle on this one because none of us in the band had experienced it when we wrote the first one, " says Jahred. "After being on the road for two years, it's become part of our reality. It's become our whole livelihood. "
Broke was written on the road between stops on last year's Ozzfest, where the band was a featured performer. By all accounts, it was a harrowing trip.
"We were in an RV for 16 months before we finally earned a tour bus. It was rolling hell. We were just like rolling drunks. "
Secondly, (hed) is turning up the groove, lightening up on the angst (a little) and utilizing such more or less "traditional " songwriting niceties as melody and catchy lyrical hooks. Broke even finds the group experimenting with subtlety on "Pac Bell " and the yearning "Jesus (of Nazareth). "
"This album is much more groove-oriented and the last was more spastic, " explains Jahred. "This time, we didn't worry if a track didn't have as much guitar, or even had all of us playing at once, if the song didn't need it. "
Despite all the anger and self-destruction found on Broke's dozen tracks, Jahred insists there is something more. Referring to "Feel Good, " he says, "The verses are talking about the end of the world and how everybody in Western culture just wants to drive their Beemers and have a f--ing good time. Nobody on this side of the world cares that anybody else is hungry or dying or whatever. "
Is there a social consciousness lurking in the (hed) camp?
"We're not trying to claim we're any style anymore. We're just trying to write good songs. Period. " & & --Mike Corrigan & &
& & & lt;i & (hed) P.E. performs an all-ages show with local band Fly Real at Boomerang's on Friday, Oct. 13, at 7 pm. Tickets: $12.50. Call: 325-SEAT. & lt;/i & & lt;/center & &