By Holli Harms
Jared Schonig Big Band! is big band music for the 21st Century grounded in a sound I can only describe as part 70’s soulful and part searching. You want to dance, start a journey to somewhere.
The session at The Jazz Gallery on July 21, a 26-year-old jazz venue tucked away on 27th and Broadway on the 5th floor of a rather nondescript building, brought together a 17-piece band that filled the souls of all in attendance. The set was from Schonig’s 2021 big band album, Two Takes Volume 2. There is something to be said about the force of an ensemble in a small space that lets the music get into your being. The music is all Schonig’s compositions that he loaned out and had arranged by the likes of Jim McNeely, Mike Holober, Alan Ferber, Miho Hazama, Darcy James Argue, John Daversa, Laurence Hobgood, and Brian Krock.
Schonig, drummer, composer, band leader, plays as if his life depends on it. As if he is calling spirits to rise up. He is a volcano overflowing with lava of tempo and rhythm that blasts into the audience, lifts them like a wave, and carries them out on a sea of sound.
His composition Climb is an instrumental exploration of sense and majesty. Each of his compositions; White Out, Eight Twenty (that he wrote for his wife), Nuts… is as fulfilling as the previous, but for me, my favorite was Tig Mack, Schonig’s tribute to the Pacific Ocean. His cymbals are the ocean, with them you experience the depth and majesty of the water. Not the waves but the water and what is under the surface immersed in the life of the water and its inhabitants. Jeff Miles’ guitar solo is the light on the water as it sparkles, bounces off the surface, and crisscrosses its way to greater depths. The mysteries of our oceans are recreated in Tig Mack.
These are not easy compositions to play I actually heard one of the trumpet players prior to beginning a piece say to the other, “Wish me luck,” as they then embarked on their next piece with, you got it, a rocket fast trilling trumpet solo. He was sensational of course, as was the entire evening.
The Jazz Gallery was founded in 1995 as a place for emerging musicians as well as renowned artists to hone their craft and have the opportunity to work together. It is truly a jazz aficionado’s find. Tickets at $15 for nonmembers and $10 for members, a great deal along with a list of wines starting at $5 for a glass. For the summer they have an incredible deal of $50 to see every show on their list of performances in July and August.
The Jazz Gallery is a great place to be and hear exciting music.
Jared Schonig Big Band:
Jared Schonig -drums + compositions
Andrew Gould -alto saxophone 1
Matt Hong -alto saxophone 2
John Ellis -tenor saxophone 1
Jason Rigby -tenor saxophone 2
Remy Le Boeuf -baritone/bass clarinet
Jeff Miles -guitar
Carmen Staaf -piano
Edward Perez -acoustic bass
Sets at 7.30pm + 9.30pm ET
$15/$10 members; cabaret seating: $25/$20 members;
SUMMER PASS: $50 dollars to see all Shows at The Jazz Gallery in July and August 2022
The Jazz Gallery 1158 Broadway entrance on 27th street, 5th Floor, NY NY 10001
Masks are not required but suggested. Covid vaccination cards must be shown at the door.