Eric “Benny” Bloom to play Miles Davis at Chickie Wah Wah, 6/18

Iconic jazz musician Miles Davis has been in the news a lot lately. Miles Ahead, a biopic was released on the big screen starring and directed by Don Cheadle, keyboardist and composer Robert Glasper released an adventurous recording which featured samples of the great musician’s voice and music amid reimaginings of some of his best tunes, and recently there were celebrations around the globe on what would have been his ninetieth birthday. Local trumpeter Eric “Benny” Bloom gets on board Saturday night with a performance at Chickie Wah Wah.

Dubbed “Kind of Bloom,” the show will be the CWW debut of Bloom’s new jazz ensemble, the Melodies. The band features saxophonist Roderick Paulin, bassist Jason Stewart, and drummer Stephen Gordon.

Bloom is a versatile musician with a foot in virtually every genre. On the national scene, he is a member of the funk band Lettuce and the live electronica project Pretty Lights.

Since moving to New Orleans, he has mostly been performing funk and R&B, though his music training focused on jazz. He is a go-to bandleader for tribute shows having put together several including those dedicated to the music of the Crusaders, Earth, Wind and Fire, the Isley Brothers, and the Ohio Players. He performs locally with Nigel Hall, Eric Krasno, George Porter, Jr., Johnny Vidacovich, and other well-known musicians and has recorded with Jon Cleary, Aaron Neville, and Rickie Lee Jones.

The members of the new band are regulars on the scene. Paulin was a member of the Rebirth Brass Band in its early days and penned several of their best-loved tunes. Stewart is a first call jazz bassist who performs regularly at Snug Harbor and other venues. Though I am not as familiar with Gordon (pictured above), he is Ellis Marsalis’ drummer, and that’s good enough for me.

Roosterfoot opens the show.

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