Friday, February 19, 2010

When Jazz Ruled The World

After leaving California in 2004 I knew I wanted to start a Fender Rhodes based jazz trio in Cincinnati. My goal was to create something authentic and different from the typical jazz piano trio. I searched for two months and found what I was looking for: a 1975 Rhodes Mark II and a 1974 Fender Twin Reverb. Those two pieces combined weigh in at about 150 lbs and can make gigging a nightmare (as I found out throughout the year). But, the tone and look of a Rhodes is unmistakable and incomparable.

I was lucky to hook up with two extremely talented musicians and improvisers. Chuck Sengo, a Tanzanian drummer/percussionist who had toured the world but somehow ended up in this town looking for gigs. Chuck was years ahead of me in terms of jazz improv and his overall sense of time. Jared Manker at the time was just in his early 20s yet well versed in jazz theory and possessed an exceptional gift for technical, Victor Wooten-style type runs on the bass.

In early 2005 we formed as Anderson Rhodes Trio and played throughout town for the year. Our set list was focused on 1950s-60s be-bop/hard-pop and more jazz-funk modern stuff like John Scofield. In fact, have a listen to Anderson Rhodes Trio's version of John Scofield's Hottentot below. This track and entire demo were recorded LIVE at Apple Hill Studios in 2005.

The trio disbanded at the end of 2005 but Jared, Charles and I continued to make music together in other projects. Throughout the course of the project we all found out how extremely difficult it is in this town, or any town for that matter, to keep a jazz trio working consistently. There is not much of a demand for jazz these days. But the spirit of the project was realized and there are some great tunes left behind.

Hope you enjoy this track from the archives:
Anderson Rhodes Trio - Hottentot (scofield)

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