Pianist Jon Cleary brings latest project to Glenwood’s Summer of Jazz | PostIndependent.com

Pianist Jon Cleary brings latest project to Glenwood’s Summer of Jazz

John StroudPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Publicity photo by Rick Olivier

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – New Orleans pianist Jon Cleary brings his new group, Piano, Bass & Drums, to Glenwood for the third concert in the 25th Summer of Jazz free concert series tonight.”I’ve long been harboring a hankering to drive a band from behind the wheel of an old acoustic piano to bash out a selection from my side stash of material,” Cleary says on his website (www.joncleary.com) of his latest project. “These include songs I’ve been writing, borrowing and stealing for swampy Caribbean drums and upright bass or tuba.”The lineup features several New Orleans regulars, including Doug Belote on drums, multi-instrumentalist Matt Perrine and James Singleton, who alternate gigs on upright bass, with Cleary on acoustic piano.”By virtue of the fact the guys making the music are products of the Big Easy, it goes without saying the ingredients of the music are going to include soul, jazz and funk,” Cleary explains. “We’ll be squeezing Caribbean juice out of a bag of ‘back in the day’ grooves, working in a bunch of fresh new tunes and parading a second-line street beat, with some red-hot peppers to crank up the heat.”Born in England and bred in New Orleans, Cleary combines soulful vocals, masterful piano skills, and a knack for composing infectious grooves with melodic hooks and sharp lyrics, according to his web biography. He also performs with the noted funk band The Absolute Monster Gentlemen, and is a regular on stage and in the studio with the likes of Bonnie Raitt and John Scofield.”Cleary can be an absolute monster on his own, but Cleary’s full combo R&B is as broad, deep and roiling as the Mississippi River, the combined swinging product of local keyboard tradition, Cleary’s vocal-songwriting flair for moody Seventies soul and the spunky-Meters roll of his Gentlemen,” wrote David Fricke in a 2004 Rolling Stone review.Raitt, who covered the Cleary originals “Fool’s Game,” “Monkey Business,” “Unnecessarily Mercenary,” and “Love on One Condition,” commented: “Jon Cleary is the ninth wonder in the world.”Cleary has produced five recordings to date including his latest, a live recording from Sydney, Australia, called “Mo Hippa.”Summer of Jazz features six free concerts this summer, continuing July 14 with Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue before taking a week off and resuming July 28 with the Chuchito Valdes Afro-Cuban Ensemble. The Stooges Brass Band closes out the series on Aug. 4.The concerts are free, but the series relies on donations to cover the costs. Volunteers will be passing the donation basket at the 8 p.m. intermission each week, and collector’s edition 25th anniversary T-shirts will also be on sale. To donate to the Summer of Jazz online and for more information, visit summerofjazz.com.jstroud@postindependent.com

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