Summer of Sound headliner B-Side Players diss locals

By Steve Jansen

The B-Side Players apparently aren't digging some of our local jazz acts.

The other night, I ran into Ted Sistrunk, who played bass for two of the four local bands on the New Times Summer of Sound: Jazz bill on Friday, July 11. (I was at The Brickhouse as well checking out the super awesome bands, which included The Jazz Robot, Jiggle, Eric Rasmussen, and Music for Bowlers. Unfortunately, I had to leave before the headlining act, B-Side Players, performed.)

Sistrunk, who sat in with Jiggle and Eric Rasmussen, told me that once all of the locals had their time in the spotlight, B-Side -- a large, Latin music-infused ensemble based in San Diego -- took the stage. Then, according to Sistrunk, one of the members of B-Side announced to the crowd, "Sorry you had to listen to three hours of that jazz shit. Now we're going to start the revolution."

That's bush league.

I know those bands aren't "jazz shit." They're some of the best talent in Phoenix, cats who have the skills to make it just about anywhere (for example, Rasmussen is a transplant from the NYC jazz scene.)

To play devil's advocate, maybe dude from B-Side truly thought the locals weren't that good. Or maybe he hates jazz. Because B-Side isn't what I would consider a jazz group. Rather, their music is more world fusion with elements of organic African percussion, European classical-influenced strings, and Latin grooves.

But to get on stage in front of a Phoenix-based crowd, which included many of the musicians who performed earlier in the night, and spout something that lame is the ultimate bitch slap to the face.

Words of advice to B-Side: Unless alienating the local musicians and fans is part of your shtick, show some onstage professionalism. If you don't like the supporting acts, keep it in the green room, homies.

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