Thursday in Columbus: The Dead Kenny G’s

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The Dead Kenny Gs. An attention-grabbing band name for a band I never thought I’d see. As a self-respecting jazz/music nerd, I of course honored the concept of a trio doing war with the smooth jazz master. But this was also a band I actually wanted to see, as it featured the saxophonics of Skerik and the crazed vibraphone and percussion of Mike Dillon. I heard about the Dead Kenny Gs (the trio is completed by bassist/saxophonist Brad Houser) on sites like ropeadope.com but it always struck me as a Seattle-based local supergroup that would never release a record (let alone travel to our part of the globe). However, their debut album Bewildered Herd surfaced in October and was recently re-released by Ropeadope Digital. Eleven schizophrenic tracks that range from uptempo saxy jaunts to mellow vibed-out jams to distorted, disgruntled bursts of sound (that still groove). Although some limited social commentary is offered on “I’m Your Manager, I’m Your Pimp” and “Jake Brakin,'” the confrontational nature of the band name and some of the song titles seems more reflective of the attitude and feel of the mostly instrumental music than of some concrete message.

The second part of my hippie jazz fantasy come to life is realized on Thursday night as the Dead Kenny Gs open for Primus and Gogol Bordello outdoors at the LC. I only hear intense things about the Gs’ live show, so they should mix well with the other showmen on the bill. Doors open at 6, so get there early for the party.