So, thanks for the winter holidays! They’re a great time to reflect on bigger pictures, like the one presented above, and to listen. Music embodies a good, Falstaffian portion of the holiday spirit, it should be noted. In particular, jazz music—tender, tuneful, tasteful and totally groovy—can be a source of lift that can, metaphorically speaking, fly one to the moon. The genre can also be heard as a transcendent thing, repeating itself memorably, predictably and almost memetically over time.
Here in Burque, this year’s iteration of the holidays and their consequent rites happen in the form of a confluence of styles, sounds and ultimately a seasonal jam sess that should set the standard for that particular activity around the Duke City for years to come.
Entourage Jazz, the primary output of local jazz arhats vocalist Emerson Corley and arranger and pianist Roger Baker, plan to present a live performance of their latest CD, Entourage Jazz Wishes You A Cool Yule, on Saturday, Dec. 1 at the Outpost Performance Space (210 Yale Blvd. SE).
Of course the band behind these two is damn hot and features local players of note like Dimi DiSanti on guitar; Lee Taylor, Sarah Griego and Michael Christmas all playing sax, JQ Witcomb, Brad Dubbs and Bruce Dalby on trumpet; Micah Hood and Ben Finberg on bone, bassist Maren Hatch and drummer John Bartlit.
The repertoire that night is challenging, listenable, danceable and evokes the deep connection Christmas has to American music. For certain the band will riff on solid classics like “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Jingle Bell Rock” and Steve Allen’s “Cool Yule,” but they’ll also present some gems from out the jazzers hidden vault (hidden somewhere in Brooklyn with the ghost of Sinatra presiding o’er it) like Frank Loesser’s “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve” and “(Everybody’s Waiting For) The Man With The Bag,” a jaunty piece by Irving Taylor, Dudley Brooks and Hal Stanley.
I ran into Emerson the other day and asked the truely jazzed out vocalist and de facto Burque bandleader why they had chosen as they did for this year’s seasonal sonic extravaganza. Emerson replied, “We chose these particular tunes because it was a combination of lesser known vintage tunes in combination with some really cool arrangements by Roger of very popular holiday tunes. We feel there is something for everyone and this concert will be all topped off with New Mexico’s favorite holiday song, “Feliz Navidad,” featuring the EJAZZ horn section and Johnny B’s killer percussion!”
That sounds like just the ticket that will make this year’s trip tight. Thanks Santa, thanks, EJAZZ!