Trio shares music with residents at The MeadowsWORTHINGTON — No one was brave enough to get up and demonstrate the Charleston, but there were tapping toes, nodding heads and knowing smiles all around as the Butch Thompson Trio entertained Saturday afternoon at The Meadows in Worthington.
By: Beth Rickers, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — No one was brave enough to get up and demonstrate the Charleston, but there were tapping toes, nodding heads and knowing smiles all around as the Butch Thompson Trio entertained Saturday afternoon at The Meadows in Worthington.
The instrumental group was in town to perform Saturday evening at Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center, but as part of a Minnesota State Arts Board grant funded through the Legacy Amendment, the musicians were required to do an educational component, and The Meadows was a perfect fit for their blend of blues, jazz, ragtime and early pop music. They started out with a couple of well-known tunes, “The Maple Leaf Rag” and Fats Wallers’ “Ain’t Misbehavin.’”
We’re going to play some tunes you’re familiar with and some you’re probably not, but they are basically all wonderful American music,” said Butch Thompson, the group’s namesake and pianist.
Thompson’s musical cohorts are bassist Matt Weiner, a resident of Seattle, Wash., and drummer Jeff Hamilton of San Francisco, Calif.
The trio is strictly instrumental, but the experienced musicians were able to make their instruments sing in a way that no one in the audience missed the vocals.
“He plays music on the drums,” said Thompson about colleague Hamilton. “He doesn’t just hit stuff, he’s a real musician.”
In the course of the 45-minute program, the trio covered a range of musical styles, although several of the songs hailed from New Orleans. They ended with such a selection, “That’s a Plenty,” which was originally recorded by the original Dixieland Jazz Band some time in the late 1910s.
“Imagine we have the clarinet and trumpet,” Thompson suggested to the audience. “We don’t, but you can play this with any combination of instruments.”
The band was happy to share their music with a mature audience that could appreciate the genre.
“But I realize the stuff we’re playing is even older than their hit parade,” noted Thompson.