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All too often, jazz artists suffer from the delusion that great popular music died with George Gershwin and turn their elitist little noses up at anything having to do with rock, funk and R&B. But when Ann Dyer, an avant-garde singer who is as soulful as she is daring, made her Philadelphia debut at The Painted Bride Art Center, she demonstrated that songs from The Beatles’ classic Revolver could indeed work in an “inside/outside” jazz setting. Armed with her cohesive band No Good Time Fairies (which included tenor saxman Peter Apfelbaum, electric guitarist Jeff Buenz, accordion player Rob Burger, bassist John Shifflett and drummer Jason Lewis) the Bay Area native radically reworked everything from “I’m Only Sleeping” to “Taxman.” Most surprising of all was her deconstruction of “Eleanor Rigby,” which she changed into an eerie, spacy ballad. But as dissonant and “outside” as Dyer can get, she’s also quite musical. Located in Philly’s Old Town section only a few blocks from historic Independence Mall, The Bride has been the city’s top venue for avant-garde artists. When you visit Quaker Town, it’s definitely the place to go to enjoy the pleasures of “the outside.”
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.