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Big fat jazz band invades the Press Restaurant
Posted March 12, 2007

Six men in their forties stood on the small stage. The drummer wore a faded Superman shirt.

An older crowd sat in the room watching the band play, men sat with their arms around the waists of their female companions. A younger crowd gathered outside the room laughing, drinking and discussing classes.

This was Thursday at the Press Restaurant.

Big Fat Jazz Cow started playing right away. Each musician played his instrument as though they he were lost in the individual sounds coming from his instrument; many band members had their eyes closed, engulfed in the music.

“Big Fat Jazz Cow has just invaded your space!” shouted guitarist Doug Nofsinger.

The band continued playing songs from the CD “Potato Salad” and covers of old jazz favorites for over an hour.

There was a friendly environment on stage. Many band members made faces at each other. The audience really got into beat of the music, as one fan moved his shoulders back and forth in a continuous robotic way. Everyone could see how the performers were enjoying themselves, and as the bassist played faster, the crowd cheered.

Drummer Dave McNichols wanted to dedicate the next song.

“This song means so much to me; I want to dedicate this next song to my friend Felix. It’s called ‘Sissy Strut.’ Pauses throughout the song featured different instrument solos.

One of the highlights of the night was from Keyboardist Danny Warrren. Before starting the next song Nofsinger waved his hands in the air counting, trying to remember it. Suddenly the rest of the restaurant became aware of the band and the younger crowd drifted in to see Big Fat Jazz Cow. Even one of the waitresses who was serving customers only half-an-hour earlier sat down to watch the band play.

Then it came: Warren who had been playing two keyboards simultaneously, picked up one of the keyboards, it was a keytar!   Warren was rocking out playing high sounds on the keytar. Onlookers began “wooing” at his performance. 

Big Fat Jazz Cow consists of Dave “Beaker” McNichols on drums, Ken Hilton on saxophone, Doug Nofsinger on guitar, Felix Nunez on bass guitar, Danny Warren on keyboard and Koorosh Daryaie on percussion.

“We met playing at churches years ago as hired musicians,” McNichols said. Some members of Big Fat Jazz Cow started under the band Potato Salad and have released one album. Each member plays at a different church in his area.

“We play every couple of months and we play together at different churches. Three or four of us are playing together over the weekend,” McNichols said.

Averaging in their 40s, the band is still rocking.

“Our kids think its cool,” McNichols said. “We love it, it gets us out to play, keeps us practicing.”

The cool and tart lemonade served at the restaurant contrasted nicely with the smooth and jazzy sound of the band.  

Overall Big Fat Jazz cow put on a good show. Some things to note: The bassist was playing a five string bass versus the traditional four. The percussionist played a variety of instruments including bongos and others. The guitarist, although impressive, was rocking out like he was in a heavy metal concert and appeared a little “Look at me, look at me” at times.

Alexandra Lozano can be reached at alozano@ulv.edu.