During the summer I had a great experience performing at the 2013 Iowa City Jazz Festival with the JD Allen Trio (Alexander Claffy on Bass and myself on drums). I must say for my first time in Iowa City, the city made a good first impression. The crowd definitely brought the energy and displayed hospitality to the band. This year provided a good line-up of musicians. I must highlight two special ones. For the first time ever I played at the same festival with my teacher and good friend Eric McPherson who performed with the Fred Hersch Trio. Being able to hang with your friend and listen to their music in another state is quite enjoyable. Last but not least I met for the first time the prolific Pharaoh Sanders. After the concert I went backstage to met him which led us going back to the hotel and having diner. Yes, Pharaoh Sander treated me to dinner with him. The amount of knowledge and history he embodies to very humbling. Believe or not Mr. Sanders he is a sports fan. He expressed to me how happy he was when the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs reach game 7 in this years NBA Finals.
Experiences like this make me appreciate what I do and the artist who came before.
On July 7, saxophonist JD Allen’s trio played a set that one might expect to hear during a late-night jam session. Sans time constraints or an identifiable set list, each player went deeper inside the music, notably rising drummer Jonathan Barber. “Nothing’s premeditated,” said Barber, shortly after the boundless set. “We don’t talk before about what tunes we’re going to play. [JD] gets up there and plays a couple of notes, then we kind of figure out the tune and just go forth.”
-Shannon J. Effinger (writer for Downbeat Magazine)