Ken Leighton 12:30 p.m., Feb. 21
Sound description: Progressive fusion jazz.
RIYL: Al DiMeola, Pat Metheney, Larry Carlton, Larry Coryell
- Website · Sept. 1, 2007
- Blurt · March 1, 2007
Influences: Al DiMeola, the Helecasters, Django Reinhart, Pat Metheny, Paco DeLucia, Wes Montgomery, Larry Carlton, the Yellowjackets, Larry Coryell
“We mostly do formal gigs like weddings and tennis clubs, so we try to maintain a professional image by wearing suits and being serious,” says Paper Moon guitarist Daniel Dever. “But we manage to sneak some humorous covers in, even if people rarely notice.” Among the band’s more offbeat instrumentals, he says “The theme from Borat works great in a gypsy-jazz format, and nobody in the crowd has picked up on it yet. I'm also working out a fingerstyle acoustic version of the Family Guy theme, and [in concert] I give out a free CD to the first person who calls out what it is.
“We do a light jazz version of ‘Message in a Bottle’ by the Police,” says the German-born Dever. “We have a version of the ‘Mexican Hat Dance’ that’s played very sarcastically. We started a cover of Madonna's ‘Like a Virgin’ arranged for swing guitar, and it was pretty funny from our standpoint, but it didn't really work as a performance piece. I arranged a version of ‘Believe It or Not (Walking on Air),’ the theme from The Greatest American Hero TV show, and that didn't go over at all. Sometimes, I'll play a few bars in between songs, just to mess with Scot [Taber, guitarist].”
He says rearranging songs as jazz/flamenco instrumentals is fairly easy. “Once you break down the chords and melodies, it's all a matter of how you approach it in performance.” Paper Moon recently landed a weekly gig at the newly reopened Grant Grill. “One night after we finished our set, this guy said to us ‘I don't know what that is you play, but it's definitely not Muzak...' We considered putting that somewhere on our CD.”
Paper Moon's newest CD is called Miniatures. In early 2007, the band landed a weekly gig at the U.S. Grant Hotel.