One of the great shows I caught this past year was the Streamliners with special guest R.B. Morris at the Knoxville Museum of Art’s fine Alive After Five Series. I wrote about it a year ago, and I really anticipated this year’s show for more than one reason. It’s a fine evening of jazz, of course. It’s festive, given the holiday. And there’s RB Morris who, as anyone who reads this blog knows, is one of my favorite local artists.
But there is also this photography thing. The events I cover since March that I had covered in previous years give me an opportunity to compare pictures to see if the investment in a much nicer camera was worth the money and if I’m doing any better. I’ll let you judge. It’s a hard place to photograph in any case, but I persist because the music is so good.
If you aren’t familiar with the Streamliners, I’d encourage you to learn a bit more about them and seek them out whenever possible. It’s a smaller version of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra with whom they share some members. The focus here is on swing jazz and Duke Ellington and Count Basie weigh heavily on their style and repertoire. It’s a style of music about which I know very little. It’s great fun live and watching the dancers at one of their shows is worth the price of admission.
RB Morris would seem like an odd match for them. His style is sometimes country, sometimes rock and roll and always thoughtful singer/songwriter, but it works amazingly well. I’ve never seen RB swing like he does when he sings with this group. He snaps his fingers, dances about the stage and generally camps it up. It’s like an alter ego. He could easily develop this personality and style and have two parallel careers. If you missed this show, you are in luck, they return, soon.
If you’ve not made it to Alive After Five or if it’s been a while, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. They have a very special show coming on New Year’s Eve with Jenna and Her Cool Friends. Tickets are higher than usual, but it promises to be a very special evening and bringing in the New Year with Jenna is about as good a way as I can imagine. The winter series kicks in after that with performances by Aftah Party (Jan. 11), RB and the Streamliners (Jan. 18), Jenna and Her Cool Friends (Jan. 25), Roux Du Bayou (Special Mardi Gras show, February 8), Wallace Coleman (February 15), Lance Owens CD Release Party (February 22), The Mumbles (March 8) and Bad Moon Blues Band (March 15).