Saturday, September 3, 2016
Sherry Jones Mike Ning Quintet Blame it on the Music Ning Dynasty 1988
This LP is more of the 80's KC jazz scene players trying to bring back a legitimate KC jazz scene instead of trying to hang onto a memory. There's a number of these LPs floating around all featuring a combination of many of the same players featured here.
Pulling this one out just recently, what struck me is that the longtime KU professor, Chuck Berg, played tenor on it. Berg just passed recently at the end of July, but he was a well known/loved film and music professor at KU. A good friend of mine took a Jazz in Cinema course from Berg. During one of the classes, Berg mentioned how he was once in a rock n' roll band to which my friend asked the name and was told Spider and the Traps. Constantly digging, my friend then asked if there were any Spider and the Traps records released, to which Berg advised him there were not. Undeterred, my buddy tracked down a 7" by Spider and the Traps (there were at least two released) and confronted him with it. Berg still held that he wasn't on it as he was unaware the band released anything. Maybe he wasn't on it, but, maybe he just didn't want to admit to recording with a juvenile frat rock band.
He never mentioned this record to my friend. He was a jazz snob, maybe he would've proudly proclaimed this LP as something he was part of. It's decent, although the Quintet's name, Sherry Jones Mike Ning Quintet, is a bit fractured. For 80's jazz, these players never sounded too 80's. It's still pretty slick, but it's not smothered by smooth jazz and quiet storm sounds, they try to keep a bit more traditional.