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A Perfectly Tuned Evening Every Time...
Opened in 2008, The Dirty Dog is one of the premiere destinations in the United States for world class Jazz and cuisine. It combines the charm of an English-style pub with intimacy and meticulous attention to detail and hospitality.
The Dirty Dog brings together the musicians and guests in a way that creates a lasting impression and desire to come back.
February 21, 2019


Straight Ahead performing at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe. They’ll be back in April!

Photo: John Osler



Jazz Notes with Judy Adams


Jazz Bands – Big and Small, Part Two: The Rhythm Section is the Core


Jazz is so creative and diverse the performance medium comes in all shapes and sizes. As our blog has discussed in the past, there are Jazz combos, Jazz orchestras, Jazz trios, quartets and even nonets. Some consist of just a few musicians and some are large ensembles of 50 or more. Whatever the music calls for, the musicians will fill the roles.



The size of the group coincides with the composer’s score and vision as well as the type of Jazz that is being played. The larger ensembles frequently play Big Band or orchestral Jazz requiring the music to be more structured and often written out into a score or charts and sometimes even utilizing a band leader. The smaller groups, on the other hand, play a more intimate style of Jazz allowing for more improvisation and interplay among the musicians.



At the core of most Jazz groups, regardless of size, is the rhythm section, which consists of piano (or other keyboards), bass and drums. This is also a stand-alone performance configuration that is otherwise known as a Jazz combo or Jazz trio.



A basic Jazz combo or rhythm section is the foundation of most Jazz ensembles. It provides the three essential ingredients of the music: harmony, melody and rhythm. The keyboard actually supports all three elements with the bass establishing the chordal roots of the harmonic structure as well as supporting the rhythmic patterns of the drums, which supply the basic beats and pulse.



The Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe hosts many different types of Jazz ensembles from the big band sounds of R.J. Spangler’s Planet D Nonet to the Gary Shunk Trio.



Coming soon to the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe is a group that exemplifies the creative potential of the medium-size Jazz combo. They are a perfect example of a basic trio/rhythm section with a vocal and saxophone soloist.



They are Detroit’s Grammy-nominated, “Straight Ahead”, and will perform in late April. For details call 313-882-5299.



Current lineup includes founding members, Marion Hayden on bass, Alina Moore on piano, Regina Carter on violin and Gayelynn McKinney on drums. They are joined by Kymberli Wright on vocals and a special guest Yancyy on saxophone. Catch them if you can!




Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a pianist, composer and musicologist who hosts a Jazz and contemporary music show on CJAM 99.1FM and guest hosts on WRCJ 90.9FM. She made her mark at WDET 101.9FM where she was program director and daily on-air music host for more than 30 years.






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The Dirty Dog brings together the musicians and guests in a way that creates a lasting impression and desire to come back.
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Each week the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe hosts live performances from the greatest jazz musicians across the country.