Sunday, April 7, 2019

Matt Otto, Danny Embrey, Sam Copeland and Brian Steever at Black Dolphin

The ticket I buy at the box office of the Folly Theater on Thursday for a concert by the Joshua Redman Quartet will almost surely be money well spent.  The saxophonist deserves his status as one of the biggest stars in mainstream jazz.

I wasn’t required to open my wallet to catch a similarly refined quartet on Wednesday.  Performances at Black Dolphin are always free.  Saxophonist Matt Otto,  guitarist Danny Embrey, bassist Sam Copeland and drummer Brian Steever were staggeringly good. 

Otto immediately became one of Kansas City’s finest musicians upon moving to the area in 2009.  Embrey has a chameleon-like tendency to play at the level of his collaborators, a trait that resulted in a magnificent effort on Wednesday. 

A $40 seat in the center of the second row is currently available for Redman’s concert.  I hope to snag it Thursday.  While I know that Redman’s showmanship will be enormously entertaining, I’m less confident that the star will equal the musical standard set by Otto last week.

Otto’s quartet returns to on Black Dolphin on Wednesday, April 10, Wednesday, April 17, and Wednesday, April 24.  I shared a portion of an Otto solo at Instagram.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

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