Music: September 2009 Archives

jfjo_odib.jpgJacob Fred Jazz Odyssey is returning home to Tulsa for one night this Friday, September 25, on a coast-to-coast tour promoting their new EP, One Night in Brooklyn. The show starts at 9 pm at The Marquee on Main and Cameron in Tulsa's Bob Wills Arts District (look for Bob in an Indian headdress on the front door).

JFJO_UTW.jpgThe band's music draws on a wide range of influences, including classical music. (In fact, they're prepping to present a jazz adaptation of Beethoven's 3rd (Eroica) and 6th (Pastoral) Symphonies at the 2010 OK Mozart festival.) You can read all about the band and its history in this UTW cover story profile by Erin Fore.

I'd encourage you to head over to the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey website and listen to the sampler on the home page. I especially enjoyed "The Black and Crazy Blues," which prominently features lap steel guitar.

Speaking of which, I was amused by a quote from a Kansas City Star review:

On 'One Day in'll hear how creative and adventurous Tulsans, lap steel and all, are redirecting the future of jazz.

Imagine that: Playing jazz on a lap steel guitar, and on North Main Street in Tulsa no less. Who'd have thought?

Leon McAuliffe and his Fender Quad Stringmaster

I've only recently been introduced to the music of JFJO. I like it (especially the prominent and effective use of steel guitar) and I think you will too. Come out and hear for yourself this Friday night. Tickets are $10 in advance at Dwelling Spaces, Starship, and Shades of Brown; $15 at the door.

MORE: From a review of JFJO's Los Angeles performance with songstress Annie Ellicott:

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey originated in Oklahoma, which is not as improbable as it might seem given the state's paternity of Bob Wills, Jay McShann and Leon Russell -- genre mixers all....

Funny, I never thought of JFJO as a chops band till now, but that's because their records succeed in sounding casual while they pull together some quite amazing combinations. Live, Haas shows why he was originally regarded as a teen prodigy: Flinging hands and elbows high and wide, he attacks the keyboard with possessed inspiration and precision, his rhythms sloshing with Russian passion amid the relaxed framework of Raymer's pattering kitwork. Hayes is a more foundational bassist than his predecessor, Reed Mathis; he's also the author of "David," a flowing ballad that merges into some kind of tango. As the wild card, Combs indeed makes a winning hand out of just about anything as he slides his steel into all the right places, causing high-concept art to blossom into dimensions of color and smoke. Picking him up was a very, very smart choice....

A couple of years ago, on April 11, 2007, I sat down at the Village Inn with Tulsa rock and roll pioneer Rocky Frisco and recorded a leisurely conversation with him. I am a lousy interviewer, but Rocky is a great interview subject. It didn't take much prompting to get him to tell some fascinating stories about his upbringing, Tulsa schools in the '40s, Tulsa music in the '50s, his bicycle ride to Fort Hood, Texas, to interview Elvis and his views on matters political and spiritual.

For quite some time, I've intended either to transcribe the interview or to edit and upload the audio. At long last, I've started working on the audio, and I have the first 15 minute segment ready to go. In this segment, Rocky talks about how he got started with rock and roll, winning contests at the Sheri-Bob Dance Studios, Gene Crose and his band, Flash Terry, the Flamingo Lounge, and the Greenwood music scene of the late '50s, and the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and the tribute they put together for Carl Radle. (Other topics and names dropped in this discussion: Liquor-by-the-wink in 1950s Oklahoma, the contrast between the music business then and now, Leo Feathers, Brooks and Dunn.)

Rocky has the beginnings of a website on the Tulsa Sound, where he mentions some of the same history and quotes JJ Cale:

According to John "JJ" Cale, "There isn't really any Tulsa Sound; we were just trying to play the blues and didn't know how, so that's what we came up with." We played what we knew, so it was a mixture of Western Swing, Country, Blues, Gospel and Popular Music, which ranged from ballads to marching bands.

(If you only see a 30 sec. excerpt, click the "Play full song here" link.)

A Conversation with Rocky Frisco, April 11, 2007 - Rocky Frisco with Michael Bates

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Music category from September 2009.

Music: August 2009 is the previous archive.

Music: March 2010 is the next archive.

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