Friday, February 14, 2014

Klaus Bader's jazz digs deeply into the swing tenor tradition

Klaus Bader
The South County Jazz Club's matinee series took on an international flavor at the Venice Art Center in Venice FL with an appearance by tenor saxophonist Klaus Bader. He flew in for Friday's gig from his native Germany, along with guitarist Peter Starkmann. The quintet also included three Southwest Florida musicians - pianist Johnny Varro, bassist Don Mopsick and drummer Tony Martin.

Peter Starkmann
Bader, whose biggest influences are Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young and Don Byas, has a full-throated, deep-toned style on his 1931 Conn tenor, a sound that eerily recalls Hawk - the first highly regarded tenor sax soloist in jazz. Bader's melodicism and sense of swing borrow from Pres and Byas.

Afternoon highlights:
  • The band's Hoagy Carmichael mini-medley, consisting of "Stardust" and the lesser-known "Blue Orchids."
  • Bader's interpretations of "Body and Soul" (the tune most associated with Hawkins' soloing) and Lester Young's "Tickle Toe."
  • Two features on which Bader spotlighted Varro ("Have You Met Miss Jones?") and Starkmann (Django Reinhardt's ballad "Nuages"). Starkmann's style on guitar is reminiscent of Reinhardt, and it too was a treat.
What a wonderful afternoon it was.
Varro, Mopsick, Bader, Starkmann, Martin

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