Major surgery in the Covington Center


On Thursday night the Jazz Doctors made another huge statement by displaying their refined skills and musicianship in the Covington Center for the Performing Arts! This reprisal was no less than excellent, as are all of their performances, and the audience really dug what the docs were working up.

Once 7:30 hit, those in attendance knew they were in for a treat. Right at show time Wayne Gallops, aka ‘Dr. Wayne,’ appears from stage left and begins playing his characteristic jazz style on his massive keyboard setup. Soon after Dr. Sanderl, ‘Dr. Rob,’ also appears and jives his way over to his raised drum kit to begin kicking his jive. The two continue to play and jam until finally ‘Dr. Chris,’ or Dr. White as students know him, joins the musicians not from stage left or right, but from the audience door behind the audience! He enters blasting his soprano sax excitedly. At this point, the audience was affirmed that this show was going to be tight!

The doctors played several different tunes that spanned jazz, funk, and fusion. Several of the pieces were composed by the performers themselves and each one had little time to practice. In fact, the trio hardly had any rehearsal time at all! Not that that was an issue in the slightest as each performer has accomplished many, many years of musical training and extensive study.

Some of the tunes selected ranged from Mandel’s Suicide Is Painless to a take off of Ein Feste Berg. Cissy Strut by the Meters and Green Onions, a personal favorite, by Booker T. and the MG’s, were also covered in a fine display of funk and jazz excellence and eclecticism.

One of the best parts about the concert was that most of the music, along with minimal rehearsal time, was created in the moment. This means that the tunes were not rehearsed note for note as most non-literate musicians would think. The Doctors had the basis for each piece, the form if you will, maybe a few chords and rhythm, but that’s it. Each Doc had to listen and comprehend extensively what the other performer was doing and work around that. The ability to be a very focused listener is essential in creating this sort of music. In jazz and funk, it is especially important to be competent of what is happening as the chord structure and textures change, sometimes very rapidly. It was obvious that these Doctors had practiced their listening.

The event was titled This Won’t Hurt A Bit! And rightly so, because nothing about the concert was a nuisance. Dr. Wayne funked out the audience tastefully with his quick fingers; Dr. Chris haunted and impressed with his virtuosic melodies on the sax and flute; and Dr. Rob just defied imagination with his kickin’ drum beats. Next time you find yourself around Covington, be sure to look for fliers of these Docs!