Introducing new listeners to his beloved music is an ongoing concern of Daytonian Eddie Brookshire, although he bristles at terms like traditional jazz or be-bop.
Brookshire (bass), who teaches at the University of Dayton, performs with his quintet at Gilly’s in Dayton on Saturday. The group, Keigo Hirakawa (keyboards), Jack Novotny (tenor and soprano saxophone, flute, bass clarinet), Gary Onady (trumpet, flugelhorn) and Fenton Sparks (drums, vibraphone), will be joined that evening by guest vocalist Brenda Flowers.
Brookshire recently shared his thoughts on what he calls African American classical music.
The name game
“Some people balk at the name jazz. We use it just as a way for people to relate to the description. It’s incorrect to say traditional. African American classical music is really what the name should’ve bee,n but that was then and this is now. Even though the music itself is traditional, the delivery of the music is not traditional as far as old is concerned. It’s traditional, but it’s new.”
“We really want to get the music exposed a little more than it is right now. Jazz itself is being represented by other music that’s really not jazz. They use the name and that’s it. If we can get the real music exposed a little more it’s going to be better for the community and everything else, especially the youngsters coming up. The whole key is to keep on exposing it to college students so they will actually know what the music is.”
Songs in the key of life
“Our music is really spiritually-oriented. It’s our own glorification of God. The thought that Robert Johnson made a deal with the Devil don’t really fly with me. God is the only one that can really grant that kind of thing to you and that’s what our music is all about. Of course, everybody in the band writes and it’s about our own personal lives. Sometimes it’s up, sometimes it’s down but it’s life and that’s reflected in a lot of the writing.”
New tunes rising
“There’s not a name for our new album yet, but we’ve got most of the material recorded. It just has to be mastered and put on the streets. We recorded at Lou Lausche’s studio in Cincinnati. We recorded a couple of songs at Refraze Studios here in Dayton, and one or two of them were recorded in Keigo’s living room, which really turned out good. I’m looking forward to getting it out and getting it heard.”
How to go
Who: Eddie Brookshire Quintet featuring Brenda Flowers
Where: Gilly’s, 132 S. Jefferson St., Dayton
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
More info: (937) 228-8414 or www.gillysjazz.com
Artist info: www.eddiebrookshiremusic.com