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Thursday, August 3

Grateful Musicsecond helping of awe-inspiring Jazz flawlessly performed by Jimmy Herring & The Invisible Whip. Review by DR. JAM

Grateful Music's second helping of awe-inspiring Jazz flawlessly performed by Jimmy Herring & The Invisible Whip. Review by DR. JAM 

 Grateful Music already reviewed Jimmy Herring & the Invisible Whip’s tour opener in Memphis, we decided we hadn't had enough- so we caught back up with them at Park Street Saloon in Columbus, OH, on Wednesday night. JH was once again joined by ARU alumni Matt Slocum on B3 and Jeff Sipe on drums. Multi-instrumentalist Jason Crosby and bass journeyman Kevin Scott rounded out the group. If this lineup of jazz/funk/jam stalwarts seems too good to be true, that's because it should be. But lucky for us, it isn't.

JH led the band went through originals and jazz/funk covers such as Les Brers (ABB) with astonishing detail and energy. JH was on point per usual, and thriving in an instrumental setting where he essentially takes over lead guitar and vocals roles with his massive sound. I personally prefer this setup for Jimmy (like in Jazz is Dead) because his guitar work is meant to steal the show. The interplay between JH and Slocum was fun to hear in the crowd, but it was also clear that those two were steeped in mutual admiration and having a blast on stage. Slocum’s organ work would start pulling the sound south toward NOLA making you feel like you left the Park Street Saloon and landed at the Blue Nile on Frenchman St., before JH would rip you back with guitar solos too fast for my ears to listen. And on that story went with seamless transitions that were unbelievable among band members with only a handful of recent shows on stage together.

This was my first time seeing Kevin Scott live and he didn't disappoint. His bass line was often heavier than what you would typically expect for this type of music, which gave the sound an extra oomph and uniqueness. Multiple times during the extended set I focused my ears on the Scott/Sipe rhythm section and found myself basically head banging to the hard-hitting nastiness they were putting out. These moments were contrasted by periods of avant-garde improvisation that brought a smile to my face as I watched 5 masters at work.

The end of the show brought that drained-yet-satisfied feeling that I only get when done with a full funky onslaught such as this one, and the looks on the faces around me echoed that sentiment. This storm will land in PA and VA over the weekend before a month break ahead of a southern and CO run. If you have the chance, JH & the Invisible Whip is a can’t miss.

Words by J Gregory