The Richmond, Virginia based five-piece funk jazz band Butcher Brown hit the stage at Aisle 5 in Little Five Points. As I looked around the crowd before the set, I I saw lots of familiar faces that I typically saw on stage. As I took a survey of the who’s who of the Atlanta jazz scene making up a large part of the audience my expectations for the night increased exponentially.
Butcher Brown is: Marcus Tenney (tenor sax), Morgan Burrs (guitar), Corey Fonville (drums), Andrew Randazzo (bass), and DJ Harrison (keys). They gently eased into their set with DJ Harrison seemingly meandering around on the keys with a jazzy melody, then Corey Fonville joined in on drums and moments later the rest of the band hopped in to thunder there way through a funkdified joint laden with lots of horns and bass.
The rest of the 90 minute set was filled with an energy of a jazz jam as the tightly knight band enticed the room filled with jazz lovers with their music. Jazz, funk with a little rock distorted guitar and some bebop elements on the sax made for quite the tour de force as Butcher Brown smoothly blended them all.
Butcher Brown “Forest Green”
My favorite track from the night was “Forest Green.” “Forest Green” comes from the band’s 2014 album All Purpose Music. Once again DJ Harrison on keys and Corey Fonville on drums weave together on the intro of the song to set the tempo. The pace and rhythm of the song goes non stop from begin to end and I waited with eager anticipation as each member of the band added yet another layer to the groove that is “Forest Green.”
Butcher Brown is a straight ahead no nonsense jazz funk instrumentals band with no gimmickry on stage just five guys playing their hearts out. Add this quintet to your music library. To get a taste of what they sound like live on stage pick up their 2017 album Live at Vagabond.