Modern Jazz Movement

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IN TUNE MAGAZINE

Modern Jazz Movement: Band on the move
by Shawn Carter, In Tune June 1999


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LAFAYETTE- Modern Jazz Movement is a relatively new concept in music here in Lafayette. Not your average watered down cocktail music -the band lays the grooves down thick with a double shot of soul.

MJM is Frank Kincel, drums; Dion Pierre, bass; Shinsaku Ishida, piano; Jeff Martin, trumpet; and Denny Skerrett, saxophone.

Emerging from a scene swamped with Cajun and Zydeco music, the local culture is reflected in the style of the musicians.

"I get it from everywhere...anybody who's got a good vibe," said Pierre, regarding his musical influences. "Rarely, when you can, you'll see a good jazz player...somebody doing something different."

Constant gigging and steady rehearsals are key to the band's growing success.

"We are working hard on original material so we can have something new," said Martin, adding that late nights and the prospect of too much cappuccino doesn't seem to phase them, either. "it don't bother me...I'm just glad to be playing."

Motivation can sometimes be hard to find during endless gigging.

"With any musicians that are playing so many nights a week, it's hard to keep things fresh and inspired," said Skerrett. "I think we probably each have our own personal thing."

Old books, videos, and recordings are just a few sources that keep the musicians inspired.

"I'm never gonna give up the music thing," Skerrett said.

"I'm married to music," Kincel commented.

Each member of MJM has opted for formal music education at one point in his career. Skerrett and Martin spent some time in the USL music program. Ishida, with an engineering degree, is pursuing further graduate studies in music at USL. Pierre, a classically trained saxophonist, has endured countless hours of jazz studies as well on campus. And Kincel managed to graduate with a degree in theory and composition.

Modern Jazz Movement has no formal recordings for sale, but don't be surprised if you come across bootlegs of live shows.

On any given Wednesdays or Saturday night you can catch these guys at the Lion's Tavern. Look for them at PJ's, Cafe' Bendel, or at the Sidebar downtown(Friday June 11). If you happen to be in Baton Rouge on June 18th, check 'em out at M's Fine and Mello Cafe'.

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