A Review of Saints Sessions: OKC's Best Live Jazz Show in the Plaza District

The following is an OkSessions: Amplify guest post from Jeff Krisman, creator of the "Inspiring Conversations" podcast, which interviews interesting individuals in OKC. Listen to the "Inspiring Conversationspodcast and follow on them Instagram.

After living in OKC for over two years and not knowing about any other jazz
scene other than the few shows a year at The UCO Jazz Lab, I literally felt
like I was "in a desert" so to speak......until last Thursday night when I
finally reached the oasis, and it was definitely "cool and refreshing."

Wow......jazz at Saints Sessions brought to us by OkSessions. The venue, in
my humble opinion, just feels right; it just feels like home for local jazz
served up as Christian Pearson says "farm to table music," and that is truly
what it is.....the genuine article.

There is this beautiful familiarity about the place that is comfortably
tucked into a corner in The Plaza District. I have never been there, and yet
I feel like I have been there many times before. Time kind of stands still
as you look around at a room that is lit enough, but not too much. There are
conversations going on, but it's not too loud. In my mind, the best way to
describe the way it feels to be there is that it is a "place to be"....it's
just as simple as that.

As you leave all of the relaxed and fun "hustle and bustle" of people
enjoying themselves and moving around between all of the shops and
restaurants outside, you enter into a different dimension.......a place that
has character.....a place that feels like it's been around awhile. You can
feel the vibes of an established pub where there is a beautiful mix of
regulars sitting at the bar and different people stopping to stay awhile and
then "head back out into the fray" as they enjoy their evening.

As you make your way, you are greeted by one of the most joyous and loving
beings I have ever met in OKC, Christian Pearson. I knew the moment that I
saw him that he lives and breathes this local music, the scene, the people
behind it that infuse it with life as he is truly one of those people. You
see him greeting people with genuine love and affection, and without his
presence, it just would not be Saints Sessions. 

The jazz offering on this late July evening was Jared Lowery and Friends.
This group had come together to present some jazz fusion that Jared has been
working on, and it was the kind of fusion the likes I had not heard or seen
since the last time I saw it performed live by some of the giants of the
genre. 

Did I say that I saw the music?

This particular evening I certainly did. Not only was it jazz fusion that
brought to mind vibes from the 70s and 80s, it was jazz fusion that you
could "see" in the joy in the faces of Jared Lowery, David Bowen on drums,
Dylan Shadoan on keyboards, Stephen Schultz on bass, and Ryan Hatcher on
trumpet.

These guys were communicating with each other through facial expressions in
a way that you could feel the ecstatic joy experienced through them
communicating with one another and with the audience nonverbally as they
laid down a fusion and swing groove that was life-changing for me.

Watching the musical and non-verbal exchange of smiles and grins between
Jared, Stephen and David were an uplifting feast for the eyes while the
music was a "feast for the ears and soul." It reminded me why live musical
performances are so powerful and so vastly different from watching video
and/or audio recordings. There is just no comparison as in my mind, you have
to be there to fully feel it and experience it.

It was truly an incredible night of jazz fusion and swing grooves served up
happily and joyfully by the great people at OkSessions......truly "farm to
table music
" served with love.

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Photography by J. Gwyn Rainey