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Art Gore Combo

February 8, 2020 by Jim Woodford

Cincinnati Downtown Main Library

Jazz of the Month Club

On February 8th, 2020 – my granddaughter and I traveled to downtown Cincinnati to hear one of my favorite drummers, Art Gore and his combo. His performance was part of the Jazz of the Month Club presented at the downtown main library in Cincinnati. Not getting a chance to hear Art Gore all that much – not since last Summer at the Levitt Pavilion in downtown Dayton, we headed on down – February is also Black History Month but in the spirit of what my experience has discovered - the lack of color issues in jazz musicians – you can play, or you can’t play – the group was a melding of color and a highly enjoyable jazz afternoon!

The combo kicked off with a Gigi Grice tune entitled Minority, probably made the most famous by alto saxist Cannonball Adderley. Art always swings and the group swung right along with him, Brent Gallaher on tenor sax, the inimitable Jim Anderson on bass and Mike Darrah on piano. It was almost too good! They followed this presentation with Blues March by Benny Golson, one of my favorite composers. Art explained that when he was in the service he played a lot of marches and often found himself feeling blue, consequently, Blues March was highly relatable. Art did the anticipated drum solo justice. Next up was a bit of surprise, Masquerade by Leon Russell – OK, let me back up here – first, I had not realized Masquerade was written by Leon Russel but in the deep recesses of my mind, I did know that Art Gore played with George Benson who had a monster hit with Masquerade. They ended the first set with an absolutely beautiful tune entitled Moon Alley, written by trumpeter Tom Harrell. I do want to say that Jim Anderson laid down a very special bass solo.

Following a short break, which included more crowd interaction than actual taking of a break, the combo played an Art Gore original, T & 3; Soul Cookin’ – apologies to Art Gore if I did not get the exact title conveyed in writing. As might be expected, there was ample room for Art to stretch out on a drum solo and Art always has something interesting to say. Next up was My One and Only Love – Art admonished all the young men in attendance to get out there and study the lyrics of this one if they wanted to improve their chances with the ladies – hey, after all, February is also Valentine’s month. They finished with a beautiful interpretation of the Horace Silver tune, Nica’s Dream. It was a wonderful Sunday afternoon experience. My granddaughter was particularly enamored with the piano work of Mike Darrah, others in the crowd definitely agreed. Brent Gallaher was his usual multi-faceted, multi-talented tenor sax player – you can catch Brent at his jazz club in Cincinnati, Café Vivacé.

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