Carl Filipiak

Review: Carl Filipiak and the Jimi Jazz Band

6/30/2018
An die Musik 8:00pm set

It’s always enjoyable to go hear a fine local musician with a strong following and Carl is definitely that. The quartet played music from their last three albums; Carl on guitar, Paul Hannah on tenor sax, Matthew Everhart on electric bass and Frank Young on drums.

You could tell all four excellent artists enjoyed themselves and the music performed. Each performer had much freedom in the group to express their own individuality. Carl has covered a lot of different territory over the years and these recent albums, we can still call them albums (right) and performances seem like a culmination and gathering of these different styles.

The group started the set with a “warm up” (Carl’s description) piece titled “Blue in Q”. All the compositions/ arrangements were well developed, always with interesting twists and variety. One day I need to ask some meaningful questions to the group, such as what does Q stand for? Q isn’t a musical pitch and this piece had a common blues thread with all four soloing. The tune had a neat change at the end where the chorus or “head” went into double time (twice as fast) with variations from the first chorus. Kudos.

The next tune “Mischino” is a Silician name and means a boy with a real poor soul. The music was very emotive with an obvious European flair.

Then came a Beatles arrangement, if you can call it that, more like a quote, which there were many of thosetonight, named “I Want You She’s So Heavy”, written by John Lennon. This originally closed out the first side of the album “Abby Road”, and was a song with few lyrics and focused on guitar chords. Here’s a rock tune with improv or is that a jazz tune with rock overtones, we’ll never know. Another excellent recreation.

Keeping the mood interesting and rhythmically hypnotic the group played the title track from their third album “What Now”, a very hip tune indeed.

Again, I need to ask about the meaning (or not) of this next tune “My Time To Die”, which is mostly a ballad in a three (3) meter, better known as a waltz. As has been the case for the entire evening more variation is applied, the tune took off into at least quadruple time (I’m guessing here), but I mean a fast three at that. In addition to the improv, this tune was, as all are, well written and performed.

Next was “The Hard Way” a New Orleans feel with a heavy back beat. Carl introduces this one with a space age feel and Frank also gets involved with a tasteful and energetic presentation.

Matt gets to show off his skills next with a wonderful intro to what we think will be “Sunny”, but Frank decides differently and pulls the band into a new direction with “Southern Avenue”. Carl laughs at this change, but he’s fully vested with his colleagues. No break with the last tune of the set, another Beatles song, “Strawberry Fields”, again a lot of musical quotes here from several different tunes and a nice way to finish off the set. Paul’s solos hit the mark all night and he gets a well deserved break here, as this is a trio only tune. 

What about Carl, well just impressive. His solos were clear, well developed, inspired, created multiple feelings/ moods when needed, wasn’t about his technique, which he has plenty of and presents an aura of happiness or contentment.

Bravo to the entire group.

My only complaint is the AC went off in the first set and the place was to hot (90 +/- degrees outside) for me to stay to enjoy the second set. The band was hot figuratively and literally.