Monday, February 21, 2011
Review: Todd Clouser at the Record Bar
Don't call it fusion.
While jazz and rock were equally represented during Todd Clouser's gig Sunday at the Record Bar, Clouser's innovative approach delineated a new way to reconcile the styles. He and his three-piece band played pure jazz with the aesthetic sensibility of rock musicians.
Rendered as jazz standards, Nirvana's "All Apologies" and Jimi Hendrix's "Manic Depression" sounded no less out of context than excellent Clouser originals like "Serenity Now." All were played with feeling rather than with flash. A friend noted that it was refreshing to hear a guitarist play so slowly. Similarly, Adam Meckler allowed his trumpet to squeak tentatively as he interpreted the lyrics of Kurt Cobain's "All Apologies."
Alas, my highfalutin' theorizing and lavish advance praise isn't good for much. Only about 25 people attended. Clouser's gambit isn't the only promising path to reclaim a vibrant audience for jazz. It is, however, one of the most rewarding.
(Original image by Plastic Sax.)