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Fat Kid Wednesdays with opening set by The Steve Kenney Trio
February 12, 2022 @ 7:30 PM - 11:00 PM$20
Fat Kid Wednesdays
Michael Lewis – Saxophones Adam Linz – Bass JT Bates – Drums
A remarkable jazz trio from Minneapolis whos members have been playing music together since high school, and have been performing under this name for almost 3 decades. The saxophonist, Michael Lewis, the bassist, Adam Linz, and the drummer, JT Bates, have that preternatural mutual responsiveness that comes from an instinctive sympathy, but is developed over time through work, and their exhilarating performance last night revealed both the depth of their individual artistry and the symbiotic wonder of their interplay.
Their music suggests the influences of the crucial canon of modern jazz. Lewis’s dry, metallic tone on alto and tenor and the free melodic logic of his improvisations recalls the playing of Ornette Coleman (they opened with a Coleman composition), as well as the fragmentation of mid-sixties Sonny Rollins, the quizzical assertions of the great altoist John Tchicai, and even the visionary gospel rhapsodies of Albert Ayler. Linz has a big tone, like Charlie Haden’s, strums like Jimmy Garrison, and has a sure sense of musical space like Gary Peacock. As for JT Bates, in free rhythm, his shimmering cymbals recall Sunny Murray’s work with Ayler; the tom-tom groove is like the one Ed Blackwell got with Coleman; and, when he plays on an ethereally introverted modernistic piece, he sounds like a one-man Art Ensemble of Chicago, ready to use anything for the right sound—chopsticks, chains, his hands, and even the nub of a drumstick, which he rubs on cymbals to make them whisper as if butterflies were beating their wings upon them.
For all their influences—good, deeply and sincerely assimilated ones (they offer neither pastiche nor parody, and there’s no anxiety to the influence)—their music, and their interaction, is deeply personal; Lewis’s solos, digging from melody to wail, moving from a breathy, atonal whisper to a deep, swinging groove, have a vulnerable, confessional air. As happens so often, it takes the French to celebrate great American art: they record on a French label and have a following in France, where they play often.
[The New Yorker, January 2009]
Opening Set by Steve Kenney
Steve Kenny is active in the Minnesota Jazz community as a Performer, Composer, and Curator. Steve is a founding member of ‘the illicit sextet’, “Group 47”, “What Would Monk Do?” and his own “Quartets”, Steve is also known as a jazz curator, and has produced weekly Jazz series at Jazz Central Studios, The Black Dog Cafe, Studio Z, and is just starting his association with KJ’s Hideaway for a Saturday Night Jazz serties. His latest recording, “Quartets”, includes original compositions played by 4 separate ensembles of Twin Cities Jazz musicians, including a Live version of Steve Kenny’s Ghost Suite. The Steve Kenny Trio is a stripped down but essential grouping focused on Steve Kenny original compositions and jazz standards.