Record Reviews

Vernon Thornsberry: Jazzee Jazzee Zydeco Jazz Review

Vernon Thornsberry

(Wild Gumbo Records) He is a true polymath, and Vernon Thornsberry’s musical, artistic and culinary pursuits permeate Athens culture in a variety of ways. In addition to adorning gallery walls with his oil paintings and occasionally performing onstage, he can be spotted zooming around town on his moped to deliver coffee or standing outside The Grit, where he bakes cakes. This creative crossover is ever-present on his new album, which was recorded in a small room of Jittery Joe’s Roaster and incorporates one of his classic still-life paintings into the layout. A followup to 2015’s Jazz, Jazz, Jazz, and More Jazz (the man knows what he likes), Jazzee Jazzee Zydeco Jazz disproves the saying that you can’t be in two places at once. This music combines a history of the bright, brassy joyfulness that characterizes the traditional jazz of New Orleans—Thornsberry’s home before relocating to Athens in 1986—with a far-out, idiosyncratic DIY rawness likely influenced by his current community.