$10 Cover @ the Door / Start 7:30pm / Doors 7pm
Max Kennedy is a musical sorcerer, able to conjure up serene landscapes and scenes of beguiling discordance with his subtle arrangements and delicate, plaintive voice. Carving out a space between folk, jazz, and the avant-garde, On That Great Selection Day will seduce you with its homespun, heartfelt glow and blow you away with startling shifts in melody and vocal harmony (the latter courtesy of his partner Anneke Reich– they gel like Gram and Emmylou). It’s an album that defies genre, forging new musical paths with every labyrinthine twist and turn. On That Great Selection Day is a wondrous and perfectly idiosyncratic tour de force. If you don’t give this one a spin, you’re seriously missing out.
With one foot in the piano pop lineage of Ben Folds and Randy Newman, another foot in the jazz organ tradition of his mentor Dr. Lonnie Smith - and perhaps yet a third foot in the expansive soul of Stevie Wonder- the three-footed Jake Sherman has proven that he can walk the walk.
Sherman honed his sound by playing gospel organ at Baptist churches in Brooklyn, as well as performing and recording as a sideman with such artists as Bilal, Meshell Ndegeoello, Chance the Rapper, Nick Hakim, Gabriel Garzon-Montano, and Benny Sings. But his path to songwriting was not a typical one. He explains:
“In 2010, I was walking around Boston when the hook to what would become ‘Make Believe’ popped into my head. I recorded the whole thing in one day with one microphone, as more of a joke than anything else. Still in the throws of becoming a jazz musician, I wasn't sure that I wanted people to know it was me singing, so I released it on iTunes under a fake name. As I continued to listen to “Make Believe”, I realized that it was more personal and unique than anything I had made previously, and that I should devote my life to making more things like it.”
Exhibiting a wide scope and endearing humor, Sherman's music is a synthesis of popular and esoteric elements, combining glimmering orchestral spacescapes with lo-fi drum machines, and vintage keyboards. But make no mistake - this is pop music, cemented as such by Jake's lyrical charm and strong penchant for melody.