It has been a long road for David Nichols, the guitarist and composer for the Jazz Liberation Quartet.
The group is playing a show tonight at the 4620 Jazz Club
, but the band's history goes way back.
"It started in about 1990 after I did my senior jazz recital at UT," Nichols
said.The remnants of his recital group got together and formed the Jazz Liberation Quartet.
While the lineup constantly changed over the next few years, the band did well with regular gigs around town and even recorded a CD in 1993.Then in 1995, Nichols left the band to be the guitarist for Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus. Nichols
said that at the time the JLQ was pretty successful, having been voted best local jazz band by Metropulse readers three years in a row, so the JLQ found a replacement guitarist and continued to play.
In 2003 Nichols
left the circus and returned to Knoxville.It was then that Nichols
spoke to Jimmy Mann and Dave Slack about getting the band back together.Everything was ready to go when Nichols
hand in early 2004, delaying the return of the Jazz Liberation Quartet
Along with Nichols
, the current lineup consists of David Slack on bass, newcomer Alonzo Lewis on drums and Jimmy Mann on saxophones and flute.
Asked to describe the band's music, Nichols
said the JLQ falls "somewhere between Henry Mancini and Metallica. ...We like turning funk tunes of the 70's from people like the Parliaments into jazz pieces," Nichols
But the JLQ isn't limited to jazz interpretations of other people's songs."What is kind of unique about us is that we write our own music, about 50 percent of the songs we play," Nichols
said."Our sound ranges from smooth jazz, to soulful jazz, to hard funk."
According to Nichols
, the JLQ now has a good deal of new material and is currently looking to get another CD recorded.Nichols
said they are looking forward to their show at 4620.
"We're trying to offer a unique listening experience for fans of both jazz music, funk music, and jam music," Nichols