September 2021 - LET US ENTERTAIN YOU: Once Again Combo Jazzin’ it Up
By Rene Thompson
Once Again Jazz Combo is composed of musicians who like to change up the usual routine and sources of Jazz music in Albuquerque. The Combo occasionally plays as a trio, or a quintet, on the gazebo or pergola at Old Town Farm (OFT). The band has played at Bike in Coffee at OTF for five years. As we learned from bassist Chad Scheer, they evolved from a previous band that started 15 years ago - hence the name, Once Again.
Sheer said they started out playing shows at hospitals for the Music in the Arts series but evolved over the years to playing such events as the Lavender or Chile Festivals, the occasional wedding, or tucked away watering holes. TheBash.com names the band as one of Albuquerque’s Top 10 bands to book for an occasion.
Rotating members include Micky Patten, Steve Seifert, Chad Scheer, Hovey Corbin, Dan Kelly, JD Davis, and Albert Demarco. “We base most of our songs from standards,” says Scheer. “I think there’s always an interesting discussion of what Jazz is. Some people are real traditionalists.” Scheer continues, “My definition of Jazz is trying some different things, like taking the pop music of the day or recent days and making it our own.”
The band plays some original tunes but also reconstructs jazz-centered covers. Mostly tributes to artists from Classic Rock to Punk, such as Eddie Van Halen and The Ramones. “I think there’s something to be said when ‘The Surrey with a Fringe on Top’ from Oklahoma wouldn’t have been a Jazz tune if Miles Davis hadn't blown over it,” he said.
The band often has different guest musicians pop in for a session and usually posts variations on their Facebook page at OnceAgainJazz. Once Again will be performing at the upcoming Chocolate and Chile Festival on September 25th and 26th. You can also hear them play at Bike-in Coffee every Saturday and Sunday morning starting at 9 a.m. (weather permitting) and Kaktus Brewing Company in Bernalillo on Wednesdays from 6 to 8:30 p.m. For private parties, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.