Big tent of blues includes willing jazz musicians

Published in the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader, March 20, 2015
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“It’s a universal language,” Bryce said. “If you can play the blues, you can play the blues with anybody.”

This big-tent aspect is what Mezzelo enjoys about blues, in contrast to the current trend in much of jazz, which has become more of an academic pursuit, he said. Mezzelo pursues his inviting brand of jazz at a jam Wednesdays at the Dugout, and with his jazz group, the Triptet, which has been invited to perform in July at the ARC Jazz Festival at the Blue Room of the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City.

“Pretty much everything I play has some blues, somewhere,” Mezzelo said. “This is how I explain jazz, the way I play it: I play it like blues with more chords.”

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