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Artist of the day: Trio Vibe

24

July

Trio.Vibe

Trio Vibe consists of three experienced Tampa Bay jazz musicians -- Sam Koppelman on vibraphone, Philip Booth on upright and electric bass, and new addition Dave Hamar (not pictured) on drums.

Booth has played in both jazz and non-jazz projects and a mixture of both, such as Greenwich Blue, jazz/poetry project The Irritable Tribe of Poets, jam/jazz/funk band Ghetto Love Sugar and sit-ins with various other groups.

"Sam and I have played together on many occasions — quintets, quartets, trios and duos — over the last 20 years," Booth said.

Trio Vibe performs from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Della‚Äôs After Dark, 608 Oakfield Drive, Brandon. Admission is free; reservations recommended. (813) 684-3354.

Click here to listen to Trio Vibe's cover of Antonio Carlos Jobim's Wave. And after the jump, get Julie Garisto's full profile of this unique jazz trio...

Good vibes: Sam Koppelman, vibraphones; Philip Booth, upright and electric bass; and Dave Hamar, drums (recently replacing Don Capone). All three members are experienced jazz players in the Tampa Bay area. Booth has played in both jazz and non-jazz projects and a mixture of both, such as Greenwich Blue, jazz/poetry project The Irritable Tribe of Poets, jam/jazz/funk band Ghetto Love Sugar and sit-ins with various other groups. (He’s also been an occasional freelance writer for tbt* and the St. Petersburg Times.) Booth answers questions.

CD: (Almost) Live at Springs Theatre.

Their working dynamic: “Generally speaking, Sam plays the head (melody) of the tunes, although I play the head on some pieces. Typically, Sam and I both improvise on the chord changes, and sometimes Dave will solo, or we’ll trade fours with him. We try to be as communicative as possible, in terms of listening and responding to what we are all playing.”

Tri-state titan: Koppelman got a music degree from NYU and played in the New York and New Jersey area before he moved to Tampa.

Setting a mood: “I think the presence of the vibraphone — an instrument with a mellow, very pretty, sometimes lush sound — along with upright bass and drums, lends the group something of a retro feeling, and might put some listeners in mind of jazz from the ’30s and ’40s. People associate that sound with a romantic mood, and we sometimes cater to that feeling by playing ballads like As Time Goes By and Body and Soul. We don’t at all stick to music from that era, though.”

Covers vs. originals: “We primarily play fairly well known jazz tunes, standards and otherwise. We mix blues-based pieces like Miles’ All Blues and Freddie Freeloader, and Wayne Shorter’s Footprints, with straight-ahead swing (Have You Met Miss Jones?), ballads (My Romance), and Latin or Brazilian tunes (Wave and other Jobim pieces). We did a version of the Beatles’ Norwegian Wood. We’ve done several folk tunes— Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind, Joni Mitchell’s Circle Game, as arranged by Sam. … As far as originals go, we’ve only done a few so far — Zag, a kind of riff-based funk tune that I came up with, is on the CD. Sam and I have contributed a few others.”

Familiar and newly acquainted: ‚ÄúSam and I have played together on many occasions ‚Äî quintets, quartets, trios and duos ‚Äî over the last 20 years. ‚Ķ Sam had seen Dave Hamar play at a jam session, and liked what he heard. Dave is a young and very creative player, a recent jazz studies graduate of USF. He‚Äôs a drum teacher, with about 30 students. He‚Äôs also been giving lessons to my son Chase, 13. The three of us first got together in April, and we rehearsed for and played two shows in May ‚Äî first at the Palladium‚Äôs Side Door venue, with Edgar Wilcox joining us on vocals, and then at Skipper‚Äôs, for the first WMNF Jazz Fest.‚Äù 

Potential co-headliners? “I’d enjoy playing a show with the Michael Ross Quartet and roots-reggae guys Rocksteady@8. I have old friends and former bandmates in both groups.”

Hear ’em: 7 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Della’s After Dark, 608 Oakfield Drive, Brandon; free; reservations recommended. (813) 684-3354.

-- Julie Garisto, tbt*

[Last modified: Friday, July 24, 2009 7:00am]

    

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