Saturday, September 27, 2014


Using my extensive knowledge of Jazz + American Music history, I determined what musician every member of the current Utah Jazz roster most resembles.

TREVOR BOOKER: Clyde Jefferson, a journeyman bass player who played in a variety of combos from 1975-1997. Teaches at Berklee now.

DEE BOST: Papa Mack Bracey, 1920s bluesman, primarily notable for his song, documented on a Paramount 78, “Tired of Heavin’ My Body on You.” No known copies exist.

TREY BURKE: “Scrubs” Mackley, a trumpet player player in Duke Ellington’s band. A box full of half finished compositions was found in his attic after he died. The academic who had access to these papers called them “Proto-Mingus-y, but not on purpose.”

ALEC BURKS: Michael Sparks, a 1970’s fusion guitarist known for immaculate wah-pedal tone. Wore a lot of scarves.

IAN CLARK: Cliff Markley, an Atlanta busker who plays solo improvised compositions using his dog’s heartbeat as a rhythm track. Looks like this:

The pieces goes faster or slower if the dog gets scared or starts sleeping or gets excited. Cliff designed and built the stethoscope amp himself; he is an engineer in his everyday life. Fascinating stuff.

JACK COOLEY: Jared Sturdy, second chair trumpet on the Ridgefield High School Jazz Band.

JEREMY EVANS: Mark Clifton, a contemporary drummer in a professional combo that mostly works at weddings in the Bay Area. Most frequent note given is “Play a little quieter, Mark.” As he gets older, he finds himself drawn more to painting fantasy scenes; one particularly expressionistic tableau features a female elf running a black dagger through the belly of a cruel king.

DANTE EXUM: Jeffrey Ronson, a contemporary of Steve Reich who refused to allow his performances to be recorded. Amiri Baraka wrote about one in 1975, described it as “Beautiful for one second, then the world is pulled out from underneath you; among the most horrifying musical performances I have ever witnessed.”

DERRICK FAVORS: “Clown Crusher,” (Real name unknown; always dressed in clown makeup at performances. Was suspected to have a day job at a conservative-leaning lobbying firm.), a Hardcore-Era DC area punk drummer who played on an unmarked 7-Inch that sort of vaguely aped Jazz tradition; Gregg Ginn was said to have been a big fan. The identity of the guitarist on that record is a matter of profound dispute; some have suggested it was a 17-Year old Janet Mitchelson, who would go on to be the first chair viola player at the New York Metropolitan Orchestra.

CARRICK FELIX: Rich Freeman. He plays in a funk fusion-y band on weekends. Nice guy, always smiling when he plays. His tone is unnervingly uniform and he gets to slapping the fret a little too readily.

RUDY GOBERT: Alain Bellerose, a 1960’s French lounge singer best known for his song “Quel âge avez-vous? Attendez, s'il vous plaît ne me dites pas.” Roughly translates to “How Old are you? Wait, Please do not Tell me.”

GORDON HAYWARD: “Admiral” Dave Martin, a Big Band era bandleader and clarinetist known for always wearing a white cape and a sailor’s hat. Weird rumors about his personal life I won’t get into here.

RODNEY HOOD: Isaiah Hobson, 1970’s LA Guitarist who played in a Chic knockoff. Currently a smooth jazz producer for hire.

DAHNTAY JONES: Rick Marcellus, a smooth jazz bassist. Broke Kenny G’s finger twice.

ENES KANTER: Cliff Mitchell, known professionally as “Jazz-O-Bot,” performs as a one man band at county and state fairs across America. Embraces a robot theme, dishes out lots of robot puns. Very silly, of course, but occasionally his work transcends both his milieu and modest technical ability and becomes very poignant.

BROCK MOTOM: “SLATE,” a one man avant garde “Jazz” act. He walks on stage wearing a giant white robe and pounds on a MASSIVE drum at a fixed tempo for nearly two hours while vaporwave samples he put together play over a kind of supercharged laptop speaker. I talked to him after a show once: REALLY into SEC Football.

KEVIN MURPHY: Jacob Martins, solo acoustic jazz guitarist. Plays primarily at restaurants in Miami. Actually makes very beautiful music if you stop eating and listen for a second.

TOURE MURPHY: Trey Anastasio.

STEVE NOVAK: Steve’s dad, Cliff Novak, is the “WISCONSIN KING OF THE JAZZ BANJO.” Might be a little easy, but I think that’s a good parallel.

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