Christiansen Trio plays at WhySound

Corey Christiansen plays at WhySound Friday night.

Corey Christiansen plays at WhySound Friday night.

Jazz fans gathered at WhySound in Logan Friday night for an evening of live jazz music courtesy of The Corey Christiansen Trio and its special invited guest, Billy Wolfe on the saxophone.

The group played two back-to-back shows at the small, crowded venue. The first show lasted from about 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., with the second one starting about 30 minutes later.

“Tonight has been excellent,” said Matthew Syme, who stayed for both shows. Syme has only been listening to jazz music for about a year but said he has become a huge fan. Friday was his fifth time seeing Christiansen play.

“It is a minority type of music, but it just triggers something in my brain, I love all the improvisation,” Syme said.

There were about 35 people in attendance for the first show. A number of the audience were jazz history students from Utah State University. Christiansen, a professor at the school, recognized their presence in the crowd, calling out what types of jazz songs he was playing in order to make their note-taking easier.

The Corey Christiansen Trio consists of Christiansen on the guitar, Ryan Conger on the organ and Steve Lyman on the drums. Together with Wolfe on the saxophone, throughout the night the group mostly played fast-paced contrafact jazz songs, meaning songs which are loosely based on pre-written melodies but are very heavy on improvisation.

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Billy Wolfe plays the saxophone as drummer Steve Lyman and Corey Christiansen play on in the background.

Each group member on stage had moments to shine throughout the night, taking long solos in the middle of songs. After a particularly fast and complex-sounding saxophone solo, Wolfe drew applause from the audience.

“Boy, Billy Wolfe on the saxophone, right guys?” said Christiansen, to audience cheers.

The group slowed things down a bit later on in the show, playing a couple of softer, more relaxed-sounding ballads.

“The fast stuff is cool, but I like the slower ballad stuff,” said Jason Deakin, a Utah State computer engineering student who attended the show for his jazz history class. “It feels like every note has a meaning and tells a story.”

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