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'90s Rock Night, with Aaron Prado

Aaron Prado at Jazz, TX.
Aaron Prado at Jazz, TX.

Break out your flannel shirts and Doc Martens, because Jazz, TX is going back to the 1990s with pianist Aaron Prado, who’s worked up a whole set of jazz charts based on music by Nirvana, Shone Temple Pilots, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and more.

“It’s music I liked when I was 12 or 13,” Prado explains. “All these great tunes are just sort of like ingrained into my 13-year-old formative self. So it was that idea of bringing that music out and finding a way to make it personal and also, you know, artistically viable and not just like a cover band kind of a situation and finding the right musicians, of course, to go with it. And I think we got the right combination.”

That combination includes Jason Galbraith on saxophone and EWI, Andrew Bergman on bass, and Brandon Guerra on drums.

In creating these “new standards” the difficulty in arranging the music comes from translating primarily guitar-driven songs to an acoustic ensemble with no guitar, and from the song structure itself, says Prado.

“In jazz we play the whole song, and then someone takes a solo over the form of the whole song. It's a cycle that repeats. So [that] doesn't quite work with these songs because for one, the original was all about usually building a performance from a softer opening to a really rocking out ending. The challenge is for the is the song selection, and then figuring out where the solos occur so that we get a flow of a performance that has a logical beginning, middle and end where we're really rocking out.”

This episode’s set:

  • Plush (Stone Temple Pilots)
  • Lithium (Nirvana)
  • Jetty (Tortoise)
  • Black Hole Sun (Soundgarden)
  • Under the Bridge (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Recorded May 23, 2023 at Jazz, TX. Audio engineering by Marius Perron.