Junior Reggae

Woods' got tunes, with Junior Reggae and SIFTER

The other night I found myself at Woods, playing cards with a friend and enjoying the finest cider I’d laid lips on in a while. A local quartet had just set up and as the music on the speakers died down, the vibrant sounds of jazz lit up the space and I’m telling you: the room shifted. Bassist Lisa Mezzacappa was killing it, Jordan Glenn snapped away on those drums, the trombone and the alto sax blended beautifully. At one point my card playing partner turned to me with happy shaking head, saying, “Who is this?” Between songs I went up to ask the trombonist (Rob Ewing) who wrote the piece and he pointed to saxist Beth Schenck. “It’s called ‘Dedicated To,’” he told me. Amazing.

I’ve since been digging on more SIFTER and found myself listening to another project led by Ewing, Junior Reggae, who just released their latest album These Lines, off Slow and Steady Records. The band is “avant-dub,” with modern jazz at its core but with—as the name suggests—a marriage of reggae, dub and fluid jazz compositions throughout. Influenced by Augustus Pablo and Lee “Scratch” Perry, the group is a unique find that brings together an inspiring collection of musicians. There’s Max Miller-Loran on trumpet and keys, Steven Blum on keys, Jason Levis on percussions and Rob Ewing on bass, trombone, keys and more percussion. It’s an ear fest. Junior Reggae is playing Woods this Friday December 6 from 5-8. Come on out for an evening and save me a cider. -Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor

Album artwork by Jesse Rimler