Henry Franklin Quartet jazzes up the standard

Andrea Malloyd

The Henry “Skipper” Franklin Jazz Quartet offered something for all generations during their performance as part of a free concert series for KSDS Jazz 88.3 FM members at Saville Theatre on Feb. 9.

The sounds of the bass and percussion filled Saville Theatre on that stormy night in front of a large crowd of jazz enthusiasts that consisted of people from college students to senior citizens. The audience snapped along to melodies such as “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” and nodded their heads to songs with upbeat rhythms.

It was the second performance at City College in Franklin’s musical career, and he came back to perform for the series again because he enjoyed the first time.

“I really like the audience (at Saville Theatre). There’s usually a pretty good crowd. I usually stay in the Los Angeles Area,” Franklin said.

In an hour and a half performance of non-stop jazz music, the quartet did not disappoint the fans who drove in the rainy weather that caused many traffic jams throughout the day to see their performance.

KSDS station manager Mark DeBoskey spoke highly of the jazz quartet’s second performance at San Diego City College.

“He’s a pro’s pro. You always get a great show out of Henry,” DeBoskey said. “(Skipper’s) performance was terrific. It was progressive, non-progressive, youthful and soulful. He gave something for everybody. ”

The quartet was formed by jazz musician Franklin who has been performing for 50 years, mostly in his native Los Angeles. The quartet has been together for a meager three years and included Franklin on bass, percussionist Ramon Banda, pianist Theo Saunders and saxophone player Azar Lawrence.

Franklin has been influenced by one of the greats of jazz, John Coltrane, and began recording in 1972 with the release of his debut album “Black Jazz”. On that album Franklin was in a troupe of seven members. Since then he has recorded over 20 albums.

Franklin, who has toured overseas before, played his last show in the United States on Feb. 16 and will be touring Asia over the next four months. He will be playing in the former Communist country of China, a country that is just beginning to sample jazz music, and Japan.