The Cafe Jazz Corner – By Dave Short

Sax Therapy’s Dave Short Interviews Indigo Brew’s Marc Soares

Dave: Your band Indigo Brew has been performing in Redding for about eight years now. How would you describe the type of music that you play?

Marc: We begin with the basic premise that there is a wealth of fantastic musical compositions available to us written by the legendary jazz masters. We attempt to add our own approach to the material in order to give it a different feeling, usually a more modern vibe. We like to perform jazz standards that every jazz fan knows, like Dear Old Stockholm and Green Dolphin Street, but then move into more modern fusion material.

Dave: You play an electric bass. Is that because you have a background in rock music?

Marc: Absolutely. I started with rock and roll many years ago. We had many different bands and configurations, and our earliest CDs were all rock music. Not hard rock, but in the style of Bob Dylan and Neil Young, not requiring “clean” vocals, if you know what I mean. We moved on to Brazilian music for some time after that, doing Jobim and others. Next was Duke Ellington material and then Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, and John Coltrane. Now we also enjoy doing fusion.

Dave: You have a “family band” with your wife, Patricia, on keyboards and your son Jake on drums. Do they have a similar musical background?

Marc: Not really. Patricia is a classically trained pianist, but had always been interested in jazz and listened to jazz all her life. I would describe her as an incredibly patient and understanding person who, by virtue of her disciplined background, can pick up things incredibly quickly. She is certainly the best reader in the band. Jake has been involved in jazz all along. He studied at UOP, where he performed with their jazz ensemble. Our band is rounded out with the incredibly talented guitarist Al Mires, who teaches at his music shop in Palo Cedro.

Dave: Education has always been a big part what you do musically, hasn’t it?

Marc: I am the director of the jazz band at West Valley High School, and have had the pleasure of mentoring many fine young people in their musical pursuits. (Click here for the Anderson Valley Post story about WVHS’s musical accomplishment under Soares’ direction.) Guitarist Tyler Mansfield is an example of a young musician who plays with a maturity that belies his age. He will perform with us at Old City Hall.

Dave: Do you teach other subjects?

Marc: I’m also the coach of the swim team, and it is remarkable how many of the swimmers are also in jazz band.

Dave: You know, I have always wondered why physical fitness seems to be largely ignored in music education programs.

Marc: Music is clearly a physical as well as mental activity. Staying basically fit helps you maintain a positive mental attitude, and helps you stay in tune with your body, which is very helpful for performers. I find that the same principals that I use in swim team also apply to music. My approach to swim competition is to ask the students to attempt to do things that they believe are just out of their reach. Once they believe in themselves they find that they can accomplish much more than the ever expected. Musicians are the same. It is unbelievable what is accomplished by the students in all of our local music departments, largely due to their motivation and belief in themselves.

Dave: What do you think of the local jazz community in general?

Marc: The jazz community is a very harmonious group. They are remarkably cooperative and friendly to each other. They are professional in their attitude, and they are excellent role models for the young people. This is a rare and valuable thing. One of the things that I like to promote is interaction between the older musicians and the youthful ones. We can do that here because we have a respectable and committed jazz community, and not every city can say that.

Dave: If I may put in a plug for Jazz at Old City Hall — we are now allowing all students in at no charge to our monthly concerts.

Marc: I’m glad that you are doing that. I was going to ask you if we could do that for our show anyway.

Dave: So what do you have in store for us on June 7?

Marc: We plan to be more eclectic in our approach. We will start out with some standards, move into some Brazilian guitar pieces, and then get into some “electric/fusion” re-interpretations of other standards. I hope the audience is ready for that.

Dave: One of the things that I like about Jazz at Old City Hall is that our audience is incredibly open-minded and quite sophisticated. They have no other agenda for the evening except to enjoy you sticking your neck out and delving into new territory. That, and the refreshments at intermission!

Next Jazz at Old City Hall concert:
Indigo Brew
Sunday, June 7 (Most concerts are the first Sunday of each month)
Old City Hall
Available at Bernie’s Guitar in Redding

Dave Short is a Redding saxophonist and family practice physican who enjoys promoting musical events almost as much as he enjoys performing with and leading his group, SAX THERAPY. (To learn more about the group’s CDs, click on links to Sax Therapy and Sax Dreams.)  Dave Short’s Jazz at Old City Hall concert series is made possible by the tireless work of core volunteers, and is an affiliate of the Shasta County Arts Council. For more information about Dave Short’s Jazz at Old City Hall go to daveshortjazz.com.

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