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Chris Combs (of Tulsa's World-Famous Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey) and His "Race Riot Suite"

By Rich Fisher


Tulsa, Oklahoma – On today's show, we speak with the local musician and composer Chris Combs, who plays lap-steel guitar in the widely celebrated Tulsa-based foursome known as Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, a progressive-jazz-meets-jam-band quartet that routinely plays gigs all over the globe. Combs grew up in Tulsa, and joined JFJO about three years ago --- the band itself formed in the mid-1990s --- and he has recently written a "Race Riot Suite," a multi-movement work created in response to the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot, a shameful tragedy in our city's history that was under-acknowledged for far too long. As Combs (born 1983) tells us on today's show, he was inspired to write his suite by reading such important books as "The Burning" by Tim Madigan and "Death in the Promised Land" by Scott Ellsworth. Also on today's show, we hear from commentator Ian Shoales, who's wondering about the future of book signings (in light of the appearance of the Amazon Kindle and other such e-book reading-devices).