It’s going to be a very musical evening this Thursday at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, with Cincinnati jazz artists the Chris Comer Trio performing from 7 to 8:30 pm. For this special engagement the trio will be adding saxophonist and flautist Dan Barger. Dan plays all over the place in Cincinnati and is in several bands, including Los Honchos, Frequency, Don’t Fear The Satellites, Iolite and some of the local salsa bands that play frequently at Fountain Square. Because the event will be held in the top-floor auditorium, “where the sunset streams through the windows,” the concert is part of CCAC’s “Sunset at the Center” series. Tickets are available here:
Underscoring the musical nature of the event is the special preview of the Dick Waller Retrospective: Music at an Exhibition, which will have its full opening celebration on March 17. Along with founding the Linton Chamber Series and being principal clarinetist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Dick Waller has developed a style he calls free association painting. A chief source inspiration for Waller’s painting has been the classical composer Bela Bartok.
The Chris Comer Trio stays very busy playing jazz in the Greater Cincinnati area, but the pianist and band leader had time to answer a few questions I threw his way recently:
Tell me about the Chris Comer Trio.
The CC3 is a “traditional” piano trio format consisting of piano, upright bass and drums. We play mostly standards from the American Songbook. We do try to work in a few more contemporary tunes than your more traditional trios, though, like an occasional Frank Zappa or Pat Metheny tune, or a few pop tunes. We’ve even been known to do a Kristofferson or Willie Nelson tune once in awhile. Christmas music is big with this trio, but that’s limited to six weeks out of the year!
What do you like about the piano trio format?
A jazz piano trio is a “pure” format, like a string quartet in classical music. There’s a limitation to the voices and sounds, since we stick with piano, bass & drums…but it’s what you do with that format that either stands out from the rest or not. Perhaps a piano trio is a dime a dozen, but what Bill Evans or Keith Jarrett do with the trio is an amazing things indeed, like what Bartok does with a string quartet. The piano trio in jazz is the ultimate canvass to paint on.
Who are some pianists you like?
Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, Hampton Hawes, Duke Ellington, Monty Alexander, Steve Schmidt, Ricky Nye, Roy Meriwether, Tord Gustaffson, Bobo Stenson, Ahmad Jamal….. I used to really like Paul Bley too.
I know you play all over the place, but is there a venue where you appear every weekend, or…
We play the Chez Nora Rooftop Lounge pretty often, but nothing is currently booked. We like that room alot. It’s a REAL jazz club. Come see us next time we hit Chez Nora! We’ll be back soon.
If someone wants to book you for an upcoming event, how should they get in touch with you?
For more information on The Chris Comer Trio go to http://www.chriscomertrio.com/
The Chris Comer Trio
Finally, here’s some youtube footage of the Chris Comer Trio with a guest guitarist at the Greenwich Tavern: