Aidan Carroll Quartet
7 p.m. Wednesday, May 29
University of Central Oklahoma Jazz Lab
100 E. Fifth, Edmond
“I loved the challenge that jazz gave me,” the bassist said. “Just learning the language and the history, there’s so much to it. You spend a lifetime trying to learn it and find your own way of playing it. It offers a lot of personal artistic freedom to kind of be who you are. It was something that spoke to me.”
After spending the past year on the road, including Europe, Carroll returns to his alma mater of the University of Central Oklahoma to play the UCO Jazz Lab on Wednesday, May 29.
The show represents Oklahoma as part of National Chamber Music Month, but more exciting for him is that this show is a reunion of sorts. His friends and colleagues make up the band, including Jeremy Thomas on drums, Grant Goldstein on guitar and Carroll’s former professor and mentor, Lee Rucker, on trumpet.
“We’re going to be presenting some traditional idioms of jazz, and just having fun,” Carroll said. “We’re going to be presenting stuff that we like to play, just doing some swinging. I’m writing some new music for that show, and maybe even a Stevie Wonder cover.”Having been out of Oklahoma for so long, the New York City-based Carroll said he plays his best here because he “immediately feels comfortable because it’s familiar.” He hopes UCO Jazz lab attendees will feel the same thing, even if they are not jazz fans.
“By the time they leave, they will be,” Carroll said, “One of the things that people may not know about seeing instrumental jazz music is that it’s actually very visual, and I think it makes a big difference when people who may not be familiar with the music can get to come see it live.”
Because the quartet members are friends, he said it will “be very obvious” that the good-time vibes from the stage aren’t, well, staged.
“We’re not just playing for ourselves; we’re gonna have a good rapport and just communicate with the audience. They should have fun,” he said.
I hear good music, it generally makes me reflect and that’s what I want
from the audience, too, that they get to a place, mentally or
spiritually, where they can reflect on things.”