399

Smooth Jazz Jam II

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
The bottom line with music and art is it's there to inspire all students, broaden their horizons and show them there are other things out there besides math, English and science. —Jay Rowe - keyboardist
Marion Meadows, Chieli Minucci, Ken Navarro, Nelson Rangel, Rohn Lawrence and Jay Rowe! Man, what a lineup.

The top smooth jazz specialists rocked the coastal New England enclave of Milford, Connecticut in a 2nd annual show to benefit the city's music departments. Just call it good kharma. Giving something back. Exhalting the arts. Music.

Jay Rowe, Milford native, keyboardist and mastermind of the April 24, 2004 event, is to be commended for bringing the big boys back to his home turf. I'm tellin' ya - this was a jam! The official title: "Smooth Jazz For Scholars."

"The bottom line with music and art is it's there to inspire all students, broaden their horizons and show them there are other things out there besides math, English and science," Rowe told the Milford Weekly paper.

"As a kid who liked to perform and liked attention, I would say every teacher on the faculty encouraged me. I got a good music education, and it made me want to take piano lessons privately."

Today he's kickin' ass touring the world with Marion Meadows, Ken Navarro, and Chieli Minucci (with Special EFX). Marion, Jay and Rohn Lawrence used to hang out in New Haven and jam back in the 80's. I was there. Watched them climb that ladder of national appreciation for their hip chops - selling records is good.

Guitarist Ken Navarro and Jay came by my little cottage by-the-sea (Long Island Sound actually), to drop off a pair of tix for the show. Ken has amazing chops. This night he played a piece that I'm sure would've made any mere human contort with a forearm cramp of extreme magnitude. He was playing fast, without missing a note, for many minutes. Amazing.

One of my favorite guitarists out there is Rohn Lawrence. He's been doing work with Boney James for the past several years. Rohn is a big burly man with the tastiest touch on the six-string. Soulful. But he can scream like a Hendrix-child. Always smiling.

Chieli Minucci is yet another rippin' guitarist. He came out blazin' to join Navarro and Lawrence for a three-guitar jam closing out the first set. It had the audience up and cheering.

Also contributing to that first set was a capable and moving vocalist, Tim Maia. As the guest artists appeared one after another, the backing band just kept rumbling along. The band is called F.U. Jazz Boy and consists of Jay (keyboards), Rohn (guitar), Tim (vocals), Trevor Sommerville (drums) and Dave Lavolsi (bass). (Special thanks to photographer Steve Schwartzenberg for the great shots.)

The second set was for the saxophone men. Nelson Rangel performed his magic. Marion Meadows , visiting back home to Connecticut from his current crib in Phoenix, really brought the house down. Walking through the aisles - like a Pied Piper with his soprano - Marion bedazzled the crowd. As Marion explains, "I'd like to bring a litte more cutting edge to the contemporary jazz scene."

Marion's pushing the envelope with his latest release, Player's Club on Heads Up label. "Player's Club is dedicated to my collegues - all the saxophonists and musicians who go out there every night and give it their all," Marion muses. "It's a select group that really deserves the title, a fraternity of players who have sustained over the years - and that's saying a lot in the music business these days."

It was a great show. But not only that, it was for a great cause. When ya think about it - raising money for young aspiring musicians to get their chops wet - is a noble thing.

"I would like to see things happen that really benefit students as a whole, like a visiting artist for a week. But I know things like travel transportation for marching bands is a major issue," Rowe ponders.

Jay Rowe - taking it to the streets.

Related Article
Smooth Jazz Jam I

Visit Jay Rowe on the web at www.jayrowemusic.com

Photo Credit
Steve Schwartzenberg


Shop

More Articles

Read Down to the Bone Plays Capital Jazz Fest Contemporary Vibes Down to the Bone Plays Capital Jazz Fest
by Cheryl Hughey
Published: June 12, 2004
Read Smooth Jazz Jam II Contemporary Vibes Smooth Jazz Jam II
by AAJ Staff
Published: May 2, 2004
Read A Taste of Spring Contemporary Vibes A Taste of Spring
by Cheryl Hughey
Published: April 18, 2004
Read Four For February Contemporary Vibes Four For February
by Cheryl Hughey
Published: February 22, 2004
Read Richard Smith:  Living 'Soulidified' Contemporary Vibes Richard Smith: Living 'Soulidified'
by Cheryl Hughey
Published: January 27, 2004
Read Dave Koz:  A Holiday Tradition Contemporary Vibes Dave Koz: A Holiday Tradition
by Cheryl Hughey
Published: December 10, 2003
Read "Top 25 "Recommended" Album Reviews: 2016" Best of / Year End Top 25 "Recommended" Album Reviews: 2016
by Michael Ricci
Published: January 1, 2017
Read "Peter Wolf & the Midnight Travelers at City Winery" Live Reviews Peter Wolf & the Midnight Travelers at City Winery
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: September 17, 2016
Read "Meet Kenny Garrett" Interviews Meet Kenny Garrett
by Craig Jolley
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "2016: The Year in Jazz" Best of / Year End 2016: The Year in Jazz
by Ken Franckling
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "Eric Reed Quartet, Henry Grimes and George Coleman Quartet" New York @ Night Eric Reed Quartet, Henry Grimes and George Coleman Quartet
by Peter Jurew
Published: October 13, 2016
Read "The Zombies at NYCB Theatre at Westbury" Live Reviews The Zombies at NYCB Theatre at Westbury
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: June 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!