Dizzy get busy at the Red Stag

Dizzy's Mark K. Johnson
Once upon a time in America, hip and funky were synonymous. But somewhere in the last twenty years, hipster went from being a term to describe jazz fans to being a term to describe waif-ish twentysomethings in Brooklyn--people who wouldn't know a swung eighth note if it came up and knocked the PBR out of their ironic koozie. I blame the drum machine.

And so Dizzy are pretty resolutely unhip in the modern world, and maybe not even hip in the 1940s sense of the word. They traffic in standards and jazz-lite takes on current songs, with the clearest straight line connecting to the slick pop of Randy Newman or maybe Harry Connick, Jr. In short, not a band that Nikki Miller would probably be into. They are, not entirely surprisingly, a band that will cop to being influenced by John Mayer--and who are actually playing Mayer's song "Gravity" while I'm writing this sentence. But honestly, I think I might prefer their version to Mayer's. After all, Mark Johnson's voice has more natural grain and gravel to it than Mayer's, and a Thursday evening at the Red Stag seems like a much better fit for the modest pleasures of a deft lyrical trope about one of the universe's fundamental forces than, say, the Target Center.

Besides, there's just something about a singer with a music stand.

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