Sunday, April 24, 2016

Concert Review: Hermon Mehari, Peter Schlamb and Ben van Gelder at the Blue Room

Monday’s show at the Blue Room was officially billed as an outing by “Hermon Mehari and Ben van Gelder.”  A more accurate label might have been “Peter Schlamb with Hermon Mehari and Ben van Gelder."

As I listened amid about 40 other people who paid the $5 cover charge, I was once again struck by the impact Schlamb has had on Kansas City’s jazz scene since moving from St. Louis two or three years ago. 

Just as Bobby Watson’s original works including “Wheel Within a Wheel” have rightfully become new Kansas City standards, memorable Schlamb compositions like “REL” and “Stacy Hill” regularly resound in area jazz venues.

The New York based saxophonist van Gelder is one of the most exciting young saxophonists in jazz.  Mehari has become as the new face of jazz in Kansas City.  Even so, both accomplished musicians seemed to follow Schlamb’s authoritative lead at the Blue Room.

Here’s footage of Schlamb performing with van Gelder at Smalls in New York two months ago.

(Original image from Plastic Sax.)

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