Jazz duo will perform tonight at Coaldale Schoolhouse
Grammy Award-nominated “renaissance man of music” Bob Rebholz will join the locally beloved and multi-talented Howard artist Justin Allison for an evening of jazz, Brazilian music and more at the Coaldale Schoolhouse Wednesday, May 9, at 7 p.m.
Allison said he’s been a fan of Rebholz’ work for 20 years, and the two have played together on and off during that time, with more frequency in the past four to five years. Rebholz and Allison recorded an album titled Take Me Where the Moon Lives two years ago and have plans to record a second album later this year.
Allison’s jazz repertoire comes from what’s been referred to as “the great American songbook,” a reference to the most important and influential American popular songs from the early 20th century. His Brazilian jazz, bossa nova and samba stem from influences ranging from the great Brazilian composers of the 20th century until now. “I’ll take a jazz standard or contemporary song and do it in a Brazilian style. Beyond that I use (that style) and apply it to pop, reggae or any other genre of music.”
His original instrument was trumpet, but Allison uses mostly guitar and vocals to express himself musically. He began making music professionally with his father (who played Hammond B3 organ, piano and trumpet – often at the same time) at the age of 12; the pair had a trio with a drummer and played dance music.
He’s been inspired by everything from nature and the human experience to what he describes as “great musicians and great music.” He referenced Duke Ellington when expanding upon this thought. “Ellington said, ‘There’s only two kinds of music, good music and bad music.’ I only listen to good music, but occasionally I play both kinds.” Allison is also known locally for the house concerts that he occasionally hosts at his retreat center, Ananda Tandava, in Howard.
This will be Wisconsin native Rebholz’ first appearance at the schoolhouse, but he’s no stranger to the Ark Valley as he’s been a previous guest performer at several of Allison’s house concerts. Rebholz has resided in Colorado since 1979.
Of his Grammy nominations, Rebholz noted, “It was a feeling of gratitude to finally be recognized for all the hard work and time by the Recording Academy; also, it was a complete thrill to share that experience with such talented artists as Al Jarreau, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Hubert Laws.”
Musical exposure for Rebholz ranges from traveling to a Montreal expo in 1967 with his high school marching band to a European tour with Tom Jones and, more recently, accompanying James Taylor for an E-Town radio performance in Boulder. Influences include numerous jazz greats as well as rhythm and blues players. “The music of Pat Metheny consistently evokes a beautiful and sentient experience for me,” Rebholz observed.
Rebholz has written several pieces of music for various ensembles, including a few for the band Images, with whom he’s recorded seven albums. He enjoys performing live in any venue where the focus is on the music because he tends to tell a story through his music and appreciates when the audience is there to listen. “I’m looking forward to this performance with Justin because his stylings and musical interpretations of jazz standards and original songs bring out the best in me and in my playing.”
On the evening of May 9, the room at the Coaldale Schoolhouse will be set up for a listening concert. Regarding the venue, Allison said it is his second appearance in Coaldale and explained that it’s the people who come to the Schoolhouse shows that make the venue unique. “There’s a great group of people who support the music and they come out as a community to share friendship and to have an experience together.”