7/12/2013 6:00:00 AM Tenor Madness is a new combo of familiar faces
Lisa Irish/The Daily Courier
Tenor Madness Saxophonist Gary Regina, left, trombonist Jesse Pursley, next left, trumpeter Steve Annibale, right, and Pianist Matt Jackson, far right, during a recent practice in Prescott before their performance at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 18 at the Raven Café at 142 N. Cortez Street in Prescott.
Lisa Irish AzEdge
If you're seeking a blend of some jazz, original compositions and a little salsa music, then go see Tenor Madness at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 18 at the Raven Café at 142 N. Cortez Street in Prescott.
"We're going to play more original compositions this performance," drummer Carlos B. Jones said. "It's going to be the gig of the year."
The group, which is made up of Jones, pianist Matt Jackson, saxophonists Gary Regina and Dave Russell, trumpet player Steve Annibale, trombonist Jesse Pursley, and bassist Troy Perkins, takes time from their other endeavors to perform together about twice a year to play their own creations and put their imprint on standards.
"I always had a great love for jazz," Jones said. "Fifteen years ago, I met Matt Jackson who came to a jazz gig. We hit it off, and he invited me over to play some music."
After they played together a while, they learned they both appreciated the saxophone sound, so they sought out some of the best brass players around.
"It's rare as a drummer to play with one person so much," Jones said. "He's an incredible and energetic piano player and that was the beginning of our musical partnership."
Jones said they asked saxophonist Dave Russell, known for an incredible sonorous sound, and saxophonist Gary Regina, who is imaginative and energetic, to join them, and they named their band Tenor Madness after the Sonny Rollins' album.
As they began playing "Gaviota," at a recent practice Jackson said "Most of the time you this melody it's floaty, but I like it punchy."
After Regina, Pursley, and Annibale on trumpet knocked it out, Regina said he liked it, and Jackson said "That's it."
"As a musician, it's fun to play with these guys and hang out with them," Regina said.
Trombonist Jesse Pursley and trumpet player Steve Annibale joined the group as special guests, Jones said.
"Matt and I have played with Jesse and he's a strong musician," Jones said. "Steve also plays salsa, so we're going to mix in salsa music with our original compositions and there will be some salsa dancers performing as well."
Before practicing Jackson's original song, "1963," they clapped out the complicated 5/8 rhythm, accenting where notes would be played, and sped up the tempo.
When Jackson asked who wanted to solo on the song, Annibale laughed and said that Jackson needed to, because he wrote it for his wife.
Some of Tenor Madness greatest influences are Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Keith Jarrett, Elvin Jones, and Miles Davis, Jones said.
After Annibale sang and played on "Asi Se Compone Un Son," a salsa song, Jackson asked who wanted to solo, and Annibale said he wanted the second solo, so he could have a short break after singing.
"We all play with each other and support each other," Pursley said.
The group of well-known local musicians is hoping for a strong turnout for the show, because listeners' response is key.
"The audience is half of the performance," Pursley said.