Eleven years ago in Columbus, Ohio, bassist Phil Rainey formed the Urban Jazz Coalition. The seven-member band has gained national recognition and accolades from peers and fans. A major cause of their success has been hanging onto their original band members. “It is important to have continuity of players,” Rainey says. “The rhythm players have made [it] all 11 years. The consistency of the players is more than just a musical thing, it’s trust from a personality standpoint.”
That consistency has kept the band’s goals unchanged. Their musical formula is a combination of jazz, R&B and soul, mixed with originals and covers of artists they hold in esteem. “There have been comparisons of our band to the sound of the jazz crusaders of the ’80s,” Rainey says.
The Urban Jazz Coalition has recorded five CDs, including the hit single “San Juan Nights” from Into the Night. Their latest CD, Down to Get Up, released this fall, is available in stores and on iTunes. Rainey is as enthusiastic today about the UJC as when the group started. “I think we are developing some new fans,” he says. The band’s ages range in the 40s and 50s, and their musical concept is fresh, listener-friendly, energetic and creative.
The Urban Jazz Coalition, presented by Jazz City, will perform at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. at the Jazz Kitchen this Saturday.