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While steeped in musical history, Nashville has never taken to jazz as it has other American-bred genres of music — we’ve always favored twang over trumpets. Despite the city’s hillbilly heritage, local trombonist Oscar Utterstrom seems primed to find the audience fellow instrumentalists Philip Glass and Steve Reich have enjoyed over the past few decades. While Glass and Reich skew more orchestral, Utterstrom’s trombone playing channels the same sparse minimalism and restraint that’s helped the two composers earn much of their acclaim. Utterstrom’s 2012 release Departure comes across as a deconstructed and updated take on Kind of Blue or Mingus Ah Um, with its unhurried melodies and spacious accompaniment. At The 5 Spot, local pianist/composer/movie-score-man Michael Whittaker will join Utterstrom and his quartet for a night of seasonal tunes as part of the Nashville Fringe Festival.
Tracks featured in the December 9, 2013 episode of Fringe Radio with Al-D (featuring guests Oscar Utterstrom and Michael Whittaker):
“Home,” the title track from Oscar’s 2008 album, Home
“Prelude,” taken from Oscar’s new album, Departure
“Take the High Rhodes,” from Michael Whittaker’s new album, Southern Exposure
“Africa,” from Michael Whittaker’s new album, Southern Exposure
“Gratitude,” featuring Bobby Exodus, from Oscar’s new album, Departure
“Saloua,” featuring Mounir Troudi and Swiss rapper Nya, from Saloua by Swiss-French trumpet player Erik Truffaz
“Snow,” taken from Oscar’s new album, Departure
Oscar Utterstrom and Michael Whittaker will be playing the Five Spot this coming December 19. Doors are at 6:00pm and the cover is $5.