Review and photographs by Rudy Lu
Nippertown’s own jazz drummer-composer Joe Barna celebrated his 37th birthday last week on Thursday (August 23). And even though he was suffering from an injured arm, he still marked the occasion with plenty of his music.
The full house at Flo’s Lark Tavern in Albany was treated to a very special edition of his Sketches of Influence band/project – featuring nationally renowned trumpeter Joe Magnarelli, tenor saxman Nate Giroux, pianist Dave Solazzo, veteran bassist Otto Gardner and Joey Thomas Big Band drummer Nate Coyne sitting in for Barna behind the drum set.
The band played “Ship Songs: Stories from the Mediterranean”, Barna’s ambitious, seven-song suite based upon his recent experiences as a drummer on a cruise ship.
This was followed by a jam session with trumpeter Joe Magnarelli uncorking the hippest version of “Happy Birthday” that I’ve ever heard.
Happy birthday, Mr, Barna. I challenge you to top this year’s birthday celebration!
More of Rudy Lu’s photographs at Albany Jazz