LV's Uptown - Saturday, September 16, 2006
Jason Butterworth Quartet
Jason Butterworth - Guitar
Drew Shoals - Drums
Louis Pain - Hammond Organ
Marc Hutchinson - Tenor Saxophone
Jason Butterworth says he's on a mission to play "hard swingin' soulful jazz". He grew up in Michigan and was very much into the blues around Detroit. He moved out here 9 years ago, at the age of 18, and started studying jazz with Mike Denny in Eugene. Then, fortunately for us, he moved to Portland and studied with master guitarist Jerry Hahn, and the talented pianist and dedicated jazz educator, Darrell Grant. Jason says his main influences are Kenny Burrell and Grant Green. Soul-jazz is one of my favorites, so I was thrilled to find out about him.
Tonight Jason has put together a quartet of other hard swinging, soulful players. Hammond organ player, Louis Pain, has toured extensively. He has a regular Thursday night gig at Jimmy Mak's with the Mel Brown B3 Organ Band, is in the Paul deLay Band, leads King Louis & Sweet Baby James, and has recorded with the esteemed drummer, Bernard Purdie. The fantastic young drummer Drew Shoals is increasingly in demand and involved with a lot of projects, including the Ben Darwish Trio. He performs regularly with Dan Balmer and Ramsey Embick, sits in for Mel Brown, and is touring with Karen Therese. Tenor player Marc Hutchinson is a graduate of PSU in music performance with an emphasis in jazz. He studied with Rob Scheps for four years. He has a trio with Dave Fleschner and Ken Ollis, co-leads Ouroborus, performs with The Rocktet and Flatland. He's currently hosting a Tuesday night jam at the Lamp, next to the Aladdin Theater.
They start off with Oscar Peterson's Kelly's Blues, followed by the sentimental It Could Happen to You. Then Stanley Turrentine's very cool, Sugar. Next is Eddie Harris' Cold Duck Time. Jason's guitar is fluid, Louis' notes staccato, quickly running up and down the keys, with Marc following suit, and Drew takes an extended solo. Wow. They switch gears with the beautiful ballad Born to be Blue. The set ends with the up-tempo Hip Shaker. Louis has a huge solo, and then he and Drew take turns.
In the second set they do a lot of tunes that were performed by Grant Green and Kenny Burrell. The fun, high energy High Heeled Sneakers, the pretty I'll Close my Eyes, the buoyant Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise. Ease Back is super funky and There Will Never be Another You is sweet and tender. Also, there was Jimmy Smith's Blue Bash and Erskine Hawkins' slow burning After Hours. I like how Jason changes things up, with his song selection, keeping it interesting.
Jason is working on his second CD. Currently, he's gigging in and around Detroit and will be back to lead his trio the 1st & 3rd Wednesdays, starting in October at La Merde. 301 SE Morrison St., 9-12, no cover. I can't wait.
If you haven't been to LV's Uptown yet, check it out. LV's hosts music every Friday and Saturday nights, 7-10pm. No cover! It's all-ages, smoke-free, and they have a good menu and a full bar. 310 SW Lincoln St., 503-221-0140.