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Coming Full Circle
Browning, Pearl Django evolving.
BY VANESSA SALVIA

Portland-based back-porch chanteuse Rachel Browning will perform Saturday at Café Paradiso. Browning has been gaining a following for her work as lead singer with the Portland bands Dryer and demi-dryer, which is Dryer distilled down to its essence of only three players instead of four. She is currently performing a few shows to highlight her first solo release, Good Thing Going.

Over the past five years, Browning has been steadily developing as a composer, but one thing which has remained mercifully untouched is Browning's Virginia-raised voice. On one of the CD's standout tracks, "Amazing Grace," Browning's delivery is totally unaffected and pure. Her haunting, southern gothic voice is perfectly suited for the CD's sparse instrumental accompaniment, which lets the purity of her voice shine through.

My praise of "Amazing Grace" should not be taken to imply that the best songs on the CD are covers, however. In fact, that's the only song out of 10 that's not a Browning original, and her songwriting is getting stronger, in the vein of Lucinda Williams' storytelling. What's striking about Browning is that her songs always sound completely unscripted, as if they just appeared out of the ether, with Browning as the conduit.

Goldmine magazine has nothing but exemplary words for Browning, describing the overall feel of Good Thing Going as having that "lazy, spacey, dreamlike quality" of a Cowboy Junkies album, and I agree. The instrumentation is enough to give the songs substance but are never overpowering, and the mix of tempos keeps things fresh, although slower songs suit Browning best. Browning will open for Megan Slankard and Jim Brunberg of Box Set. Catch this homegrown talent on the rise.

Pearl Django plays Luna on Saturday.

If you're looking for something a little spicier, that same night at nearby Luna, you can find the Gypsy Swing stylings of Pearl Django. Based in Seattle, Pearl Django's jazz pays homage to guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli, who together pioneered the Gypsy Swing sound, "a unique blend of Eastern European melodies, Parisian musette, Spanish flamenco and American swing." Today, the attitude born in Parisian cafés 80 years ago is enjoyed all over the world.

Neil Andersson, formerly of the Wailers, and Dudley Hill played jazz as a duo for four years before bassist David "Pope" Firman joined the pair in 1994 and the trio became Pearl Django. Shelley Park joined in 1995, contributing a rhythmic guitar sense. That same year, Pearl Django recorded its debut effort Le Jazz Hot. The next year Andersson, Hill and Park made their presence known at the Django Reinhardt festival in Samois-Sur-Seine, France, the town where Reinhardt spent the last years of his life.

The festival is ground zero for Reinhardt fans and Gypsy Swing players, and though Pearl Django was not an official part of the festival, the band's performances at local jam sessions turned heads. 1996 saw the band adding yet another layer of luster with the addition of violinist Michael Gray and the release of "New Metropolitan Swing."

While the band's musicianship excelled and fans the world over took notice, "Pope" Firman left the group. The new bassist, Rick Leppanen, took over just in time to record the next CD, 1999's Mystery Pacific. Also in 1999 the group released Souvenirs, a tribute to the music of Stephane Grappelli, spearheaded by Gray, a fan and "perennial student" of Grappelli. The fifth CD, Avalon, was arguably the "break-through" CD, having achieved top 40 status on the Gavin jazz charts for seven weeks. Now people really knew what Pearl Django was all about.

Despite the success, the band continues to have line-up changes — Park left the band last year and was replaced by guitarist Greg Ruby, who is also a member of Hot Club Sandwich. Last year, the band's sixth release, Under Paris Skies, saw the light, and Pearl Django finally performed officially in Samois-Sure-Seine's Django Reinhardt Festival, coming full circle, and ready for more.

 



ANNEX
23 W. 6TH ST. 431-1111
FR: DJ Tekneek, The Phormula--9; Hip hop

AX BILLY GRILL & SPORTS BAR
999 WILLAMETTE ST. 484-4011
SA: Tim Clarke Trio--8; Jazz

BLACK FOREST
50 E. 11TH ST. 686-6619
TH: Stage Hogs--9; Blues, rock
FR: Nicolette Helm, Queen B--9; Rock
SA: Avoid the Future Shadow--9; Alternative
SU: Open mic w/Pete Christie--9
MO: Karaoke w/Jared--9
TU: Karaoke--9

BLiSS SPORTS BAR
44 MAIN ST, VENETA. 935-3400
SA: DJs Jared, Fiddy Pound--9; Dance

CAFE PARADISO
115 W. BROADWAY 484-9933
FR: Cindy Alexander w/Essence--9
SA: Jim Brunberg, Rachel Browning--8
MO: Songwriter showcase w/John Shipe--8
TU: Acoustic open mic--8
WE: Spoken word/poetry open mic--8

CHAPALA RESTAURANT
68 W. 29TH AVE. 683-5458
SA: Lo Nuestro—6; Latin
WE: Lo Nuestro—6; Latin

COFFEE GROVE COOPERATIVE
510 E. MAIN ST., COTTAGE GR. 942-8847
FR: White Mountain--8; Jazz, blues, country, folk

"FAREWELL TO AZIZA," SATURDAY AT COZMIC PIZZA.

COZMIC PIZZA @ THE STRAND
199 W. 8TH AVE. 302-6013
TH: Stoney Burke, Mark Alan-7:30; Peace and Justice Media Conference benefit, folk, comedy
FR: Kurt Landrie, Over the Counter Jug Band--8
SA: Aziza bon voyage party--6; Bellydance, Molly Ivins dinner reception--9; Country, bluegrass, Peace and Justice Conf. benefit
SU: Rich Glauber's Family Pizza Party, The Edge Performance Group--5, Wendy De Rosa--8; Singer/songwriter
MO: Poetry Lives!--7
TU: DJ Moses--8; Roots, culture
WE: "Voice" open mic poetry slam--5, Nathan De Hoya--9; Electronic

DIABLO'S
959 PEARL ST. 683-3855
FR: DJs Dinari, Supa J--10; Hip hop, requests
SA: DJs Howie, Anmar--10; House
WE: Ace of Clubs, DJ Danomite--10; Hip hop, open mic

DOWNTOWN LOUNGE
959 PEARL ST. 343-2346
TH: DJs Supa J & Ceez--10; Requests
FR: Broadfunk, Funtifino--10; Funk rock
SA: Illamental, DJ Dinari--10; Hip hop, scratch
MO: DJs Diablo, Von Rocket--10; '80s punk, butt rock
TU: Stone Cold Jazz w/Kenny Reed--9

EMBERS SUPPER CLUB
1811 HWY. 99 N. 688-6564
TH: Billy McCoy—9; Country
FR: Michael Anderson Trio—9; Variety, country
SA: Michael Anderson Trio—9; Variety, country
WE: Billy McCoy—9; Country

GOOD TIMES
375 E. 7TH AVE. 484-7181
TU: Rooster's Blues Jam--8

INDIGO DISTRICT
13TH AVE. & OAK ST. 434-6553
WE: Lick--9; Glam rock, electro, dance

JO FEDERIGO'S
259 E. 5TH AVE. 343-8488
TH: Jo Fed's All Star Jazz Jam-9
FR: Roby Edwards Trio--9:30; Jazz
SA: Side Project--9;30; Jazz
SU: Mark Allan--9; Acoustic guitar
MO: Open Mic w/Skip Jones the Boogie Woogie Man—10
TU: Barbara Dzuro—8:30; Jazz piano
WE: Tony Koenigsderg Duo--9

JOHN HENRY'S
77 W. BROADWAY 342-3358
TH: '80s night w/Chris, Jenn--10
FR: Ethic--10; Hip hop
SA: DJs Oneself Connect, Dan Craig, Shawn, Miles, Kirin and others--10; Dance, trip hop, visual art
SU: Browadway Revue--10; Burlesque, magic, dance, singers
MO: Hip hop--10
TU: Shawn Mediaclast's Museum of Sound--10
WE: DJs Tekneek, Kal El--10; Reggae vs. Hip hop

THE KEG
4711 W. 11TH AVE. 345-5563
SA: Karaoke and dancing w/Jared--9

LAVELLE'S TASTING ROOM
5TH ST. PUBLIC MARKET 338-9875
FR: Jenny Payne--5:30; Jazz
SA: Gus Russell--5:30; Jazz

LEGEND'S GRILL & STADIUM
44 E. 7TH AVE. 683-5160
FR: Forrest T. Black--9:30; Classic rock, blues
SA: Brian Chevalier--8; Electric blues
WE: Karaoke w/Jared--9

LONE STAR BAR AND GRILL
I-5 AT COBURG 686-8686
TH: Girls get wild--9; DJ dancing
FR: Guys get wild--9; DJ dancing
SA: Karaoke--9
TU: Open mic--9
WE: Coyote Ugly--8

LUCKEY'S CLUB CIGAR
933 OLIVE ST. 687-4643
TH: Fat Digits--10; Rock
FR: Moonshine Hangover--10; Rock
SA: Stacked, Yeltsin--10; Rock
TU: Ken Ackerman's Jazz 'n' Beer Jam--9:30
WE: Huckleberry, Savitri--9:30; Rockin' blues

LUNA
30 E. BROADWAY 434-5862
TH: Laura Kemp, Roy Brewer--8; Folk
FR: Erik Muiderman--7; Singer/songwriter, J.C. Rico and Zulu Dragon--9:30; Blues
SA: Erik Muiderman--6; Singer/songwriter, Pearl Django--8:30; Gypsy swing

MAC'S AT THE VET'S
1626 WILLAMETTE ST. 344-8600
TH: Christie & McCallum—7; Honky-tonk, rock
FR: Eclypse, Norma Frazer--9:30; Blues, rock
SA: Mo Fessor--9;30; New Orleans funk, boogie
WE: Bourbon Renewal--8:30; Blues

MAX'S TAVERN
550 E. 13TH ST. 349-8986
FR: 8 Track Liberators--10

PETER FRAMPTON PLAYS TUESDAY AT MCDONALD THEATRE.

MCDONALD THEATRE
1010 WILLAMETTE ST.
TU: Peter Frampton, Joe Bonamassa--8
WE: Hieroglyphic, Little Brother, Encore--9; Hip hop

THE O BAR
115 COMMONS WAY 349-0707
TU: Karaoke w/Jared--9
FR: Anniversary party w/Roughstock--9; Country, prizes

OREGON ELECTRIC STATION
27 E. 5TH 485-4444
FR: Don Latarski Trio—8; Jazz
SA: Don Latarski Trio—8; Jazz

OVERTIME TAVERN
770 S. BERTELSEN 342-5028
TH: West Side Blues Jam--8:30

PERUGINO
767 WILLAMETTE ST. 687-9102
WE: Irish Jam--7; Celtic

PLANET GOLOKA
679 LINCOLN ST. 465-4555
TH: Acharya film screening--6
FR: Blue Road & Friends--7
SA: Kirttan chant and dinner--6:30
TU: Poetry open mic--6:30
WE: Kava blessing--6:30

PRIME TIME SPORTS BAR
1360 MOHAWK RD. 746-0549
SU: Karaoke w/Don--9

QUACKER'S
2105 W. 7TH 485-5925
SA: Forrest T. Black--9; Rock
MO: Karaoke--9; Variety
WE: Quacker's Blues Bash—8:30; Blues jam

RAMADA INN
225 COBURG 342-5181
FR: Coupe De Ville--9:15; Rock
SA: Coupe De Ville--9:15; Rock

ORATRIX PERFORMS SATURDAY AT SAM BOND'S GARAGE.

SAM BOND'S GARAGE
407 BLAIR 431-6603
TH: The New Autonomous Folksingers--9; Americana
FR: The Ovulators, Silverhawk, Jackson County 5--9
SA: Oratrix--9:30; Spoken word
SU: Irish Jam--4, Bingo w/Tom Heinl; Games, prizes, chuckles
MO: Ember Swift--9; Americana
TU: Bluegrass Jam--9

SAM'S PLACE
285 WILSON ST. 484-4455
TH: Hot Buttered Rum--9:30; Bluegrass
SA: Duck Party--12:30
WE: "Cascadia Alive" Anarchy TV--10

SAMURAI DUCK
980 OAK ST. 345-6577
FR: The Jeff Tobin, The Perverts, The Yawns--9:30
SA: Ghost Parade, Soviet Radio--9:30; Glam
MO: Third, Magnetic North--9:30
TU: Rollerball--9:30
WE: Third, Magnetic North--9:30

SPIRITS
1714 MAIN ST., SPFD 726-2972
FR: Go 211--9; Rock
SA: Go 211--9; Rock

SWEETWATER'S
VALLEY RIVER INN 687-0123
FR: The Valley Boys--8; Classic rock
SA: The Valley Boys--8; Classic rock

TARASCO'S
100 E. BROADWAY 484-1747
FR: Salsa, Merengue w/DJ Mario Mora-9
SA: DJ Herman--9; Salsa, merengue

TINY TAVERN
394 BLAIR BLVD. 687-8383
FR: The U-Gene Band--9; Folk, rock, soul

THE VOLCANO
535 MAIN ST., SPFD. 606-2645
TH: Bobby Six Crows Jam--9:15
FR: Rock--9:15
SA: Rock--9:15
SU: Karaoke--9:15
MO: Karaoke--9:15
WE: Ozone Baby--9:15; Rock

WETLANDS
922 GARFIELD ST. 345-3606
SA: The Sawyer Family, Hillstomp, The Whopner County Country All-Stars--10; Rock-a-billy, country

ROBERT WALTER'S 20TH CONGRESS PLAYS TUESDAY AT THE WILD DUCK.

WILD DUCK MUSIC HALL
169 W. 6TH 485-3825
SA: DJs Titus and Jayson--10; Hip hop, R & B
SU: Brain Failure, Pocketface--8:30
MO: Slightly Stoopid--8; Rock
TU: Robert Walters 20th Congress, Will Bernard and Motherbug--8:30; Funk

WOW HALL All Ages
291 W. 8TH AVE. 687-2746
FR: Floater--9; Acoustic rock
SA: 9th Annual Witches Ball w/Land of the Blind--7:39; Costume ball
SU: Audio Liberation final event w/Chain of Being, Longshot, Sir Basil--8:30; Battle of bands
TU: Zebrahead--9:30; Rock
WE: West African drum/ dance workshops--6, 7:30

YUKON JACK'S
4TH AND W. BRDWY., VEN. 935-1921
FR: Steppin' Out--9; Rock
SA: Steppin' Out--9; Rock
SU: Karaoke--7

 

CORVALLIS

FOX 'N' FIRKIN'
202 SW. 1ST ST. 753-8533
TH: Blue Trick--9
FR: The Men of Seduction--10; Male review
SA: Purusa--10
SU: Acoustic showcase--6
TU: Beaver sports talk w/Mike Riley--7

MCNARY CENTRAL DINING
OSU CAMPUS 737-4750
TH: Tricky Dick--5

MURPHEY'S
3740 SE 3RD ST. 758-9000
SU: Nairobi Bois--6; Jazz

SQUIRREL'S TAVERN
100 SW 2ND AVE. 753-8057
SA: Noumena--9:30

 


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