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  • Writer's pictureJAM

Summer Jazz Begins


Summer jazz begins. Outdoor concerts bring jazz standards (and originals) to open air. Today it’s “Summertime,” “Quiet Nights,” and a handful more. In our region summer jazz is abundant, drawing on bountiful local talent. The gig I witnessed at the start of summer was in a mini-concrete amphitheater, curved along the top, like in Sydney (or Kauffman Center). Lenexa has grown.

Up front, Talley is upbeat and smooth-sweet on sax and laughs with a kind of matchless joy at “quotes” and turns of phrase the others make while they solo. Guitarist Rod Fleeman offers one up like a slider pitch. Bassist Tim Brewer plays swiftly, deftly, hand over hand. He can keep up with anyone—and does: on burners, whatever. Brewer is an anchor, even in fast, high-wind seas. Drummer Sam Platt played mainly stick bundles (fasces) today, tempering, softening his sound—to play with guitar and soft sax. Melodic, groovin’ hard, Platt solos over a tune, and the melody is always distinctly there. No one’s lost. He ends. Everyone comes in.

The Doug Talley Quartet played the Lenexa Art Fair on May 13th, kicking off the start of what may turn out to be one jazzy summer.

—Kevin Rabas


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