Last Night: Little Rock Jazz Quintet, Whale Fire and Velvet Kente | Rock Candy

Friday, January 22, 2010

Last Night: Little Rock Jazz Quintet, Whale Fire and Velvet Kente

Posted By on Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 9:46 AM


Whale Fire last year at Sticky Fingerz. Photo by Brian Chilson.

Occasionally it’s nice to clear your head from that time-tested Little Rock beer/cigarette smoke/distorted guitar fog. At least for a spell. Last night, the freshly-formed Little Rock Jazz Quintet, or (LRJQ…enjoy changing the emphases on the syllables) took Ferneau for a few sets of minor sevenths-laced reinterpretations. The band consists of an undeniably tight and clever roster of locals: two thirds of Parachute Woman, two ex-Natives (the Spillyards brothers, Josh and Judson) and Whitman Bransford, who one would never expect to be such a trance devotee by his uncanny fluidity on the keys. Like the blues redux sound of their P. Woman, Michael Goodrich and Chris Atwood take the same scalpel to jazz music with the quintet, dissecting “In a Sentimental Mood” and reattaching it to “Waitin’ For My Man.”

Then it was off to Sticky Fingerz, for the tail end of Whale Fire, the town’s new popes of pop. Coming out of this month with a strong EP under their belts, the guys consistently bring some of the tightest harmonies and catchiest melody lines you’ll find in the state. Also, their flyers are fantastic. Just saying.

The night ended later than I intended and, ultimately, earlier than I wanted with Velvet Kente. While their shows — which are entirely too scarce for my liking — are consistently mind-blowing, something about last night verged on ethereal. Instead of a crowd full of nodding heads, last night people were covering their mouths and shaking their heads in disbelief at the undiluted skill on stage. Their opener, married The Police to Shuggie Otis and, like the very best songs, seemed fresh, recognizable and familiar even on first listen. Best new song I’ve heard in months.

John Tarpley

Sign up for the Daily Update email


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Lindsey Millar

  • The Corruption Scandal Gets Bigger Edition

    A new guilty plea in the seemingly ever-expanding public corruption scandal, the state Board of Corrections voting to fire the director of the parole and probations division and a lawsuit aimed at halting I-630 expansion.
    • Jul 20, 2018
  • Little Rock, cut low

    The capital city lands on a ranking of the worst cities in the country.
    • Jul 18, 2018
  • The Crooks in Government Edition

    The arrest of a former Medicaid integrity director, the suspension of a major health care provider from Medicaid, the arrest of a state representative for failure to pay taxes and more — all covered on this week's podcast.
    • Jun 29, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Coming Monday: Little Rock Black Restaurant Week

    MoTown Monday is Ceci's Chicken and Waffles. Tasty Tuesday is Sims BBQ and Brewster's Soul Food Cafe. Wing Wednesday is Chicken King and Chicken Wangs. Soul Food Thursday is Lindsey's BBQ and Hospitality House and Food Truck Festival Friday is @station801. It's the first Black Restaurant Week.
    • Mar 8, 2017
  • New music from Isaac Alexander

    New music from Isaac Alexander.
    • Jul 14, 2017
  • No Small Talk Ep. 8: Katy Henriksen, Springs Arts preview

    A packed episode this week of "No Small Talk": a chat with Katy Henriksen, from Of Note on KUAF; Stephanie Smittle breaks down the Spring Arts issue; and we finish up with just a tiny bit of Oscar chatter.
    • Mar 9, 2018

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation