You’ve heard of Tracey Thomas, right? She’s that girl who sang for Unit 5, an underrated post-punk band that busted out in the early ’80s, back when the term “Akron Sound” was being used to describe a bunch of forward-thinking rock bands hailing from our fine postindustrial city.
Thomas is still around and making music, but don’t think she only plays rock (although she still does that, too). Turns out she has some jazz chops, and rumor is she likes to show them off once in a while. This time around it’s happening on Friday, Sept. 9 at Jilly’s Music Room. Rumor has it she’s bringing some friends, too.
Ralph Carney (a former member of Tin Huey, who has played with the B-52’s and Elvis Costello, and who also played multiple instruments on the classic Tom Waits album “Rain Dogs”) will be flying back to the Rubber City from his home in Portland to join Thomas onstage for a night of jazz standards and improvisation.
“We’ll be playing some Ella Fitzgerald kind of stuff,” says Carney, who will play saxophone while Thomas sings. They’ll be joined by Terry Hynde of The Numbers Band, who will also play the saxophone; Bob Ethington of Unit 5 on drums; and Tim Longfellow, whom Thomas refers to as “Akron’s best piano-man, hands down.”
The free show starts at 5:30 p.m., so skip out of work a little early to get a seat. Consider this a rare treat, seeing as how getting so many Akron Sound legends on the stage at the same time happens less often than it should.
Jilly’s is located at 111 N. Main St. in the Northside District of downtown Akron. Roxxymoron will take the stage at 8 p.m.
For details, visit www.jillysmusicroom.com.