Archive for the ‘LIVE’ Category

LIVE: Ed Palermo’s Big Band @ The Falcon, 10/31/15

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015
Barb Cifelli, Dan Glaude and Cliff Lyons

Bruce McDaniel, Katie Jacoby and Ed Palermo

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

Halloween with Ed Palermo’s Big Band at The Falcon in Marlboro. Given the usual outrageous humor and virtuousity that this band always displays, I really didn’t know what to expect.

It turned out that the performance had two themes divided into two sets: “The Torture Never Stops” and “50 Shades of Frank.”

The first set featured a sleepy-looking Ed Palermo conducting his band while dressed in bunny rabbit coverall pajamas (complete with bunny ears), while his primary musical foils – guitarist-vocalist Bruce McDaniel and electric violinist Katie Jacoby – were decked up respectively as Doc Brown and Marty McFly from the ’80s movie “Back to the Future.”

As usual, Palmero and his wailing big band rolled through snippet after snippet of baby boomer musical memories in rapid-cut succession, including music by the Beatles, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Michael Jackson, Cream, Iron Butterfly, the Rolling Stones, horror TV and movie-based themes as well as the band’s ever-present main musical influence – Frank Zappa.



LIVE: Ry Cooder, Ricky Skaggs, Sharon White & Friends @ The Egg, 11/15/15

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015
Ry Cooder

Ry Cooder

Review by Bokonon
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

You play a different kind of music as you get older. Unless you’re stupid. You relax, leave the gunslinging to the kids and surrender to the ancient beauty of the groove. Ricky Skaggs gets that. So does Ry Cooder.

The gents gathered, with family and friends, Sunday night at The Egg’s Hart Theatre for a concert that was good. Morally good. Like a Carter Family show.

Both played with charm and elan, with mirth and wit, and neither felt the need to prove a single damn thing. I’ve seen Skaggs on his own, and Cooder, too. They can rip it up. But Sunday night was not about ripping it up. It was about letting it flow.


LIVE: Tani Tabbal Trio @ Sanctuary for Independent Media, 11/7/15

Monday, November 23rd, 2015
Tani Taabal, Adam Siegel and Mike Bisio

Tani Taabal, Adam Siegel and Mike Bisio

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu, Andrzej Pilarczyk

There is a long-held view that Greater Nippertown jazz fans are not risk takers – that they prefer their jazz like they prefer their roads: Straight and narrow. I was reminded of this maxim by a fellow attendee of the Tani Tabbal Trio’s titanic set at the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy. It wasn’t just the fact that the Hudson Valley native’s decidedly outside-the-box music had been booked that had my friend shaking his head; it was the fact that there wasn’t an empty seat in the place, and the sold-out crowd was howling and cheering throughout the night.

Mind you, there is evidence to support the gentleman’s initial claim. I can recall more than a few shows I’ve attended where the headliner didn’t tread familiar musical ground, and when showtime came around I looked around and openly declared, “Where is everybody?” The thing is, though, the Sanctuary has always booked musical acts that sail outside the mainstream, and in the last year, the marvelously repurposed space has had its foundation rocked by mind-bending, genre-shaking jazz from Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence and Myra Melford & Ben Goldberg. The compositions on Tani Tabbal’s latest CD Mixed Motion are heavily influenced by the music of the late avant-jazz icon Ornette Coleman, so Tabbal definitely fits Sanctuary’s “no box required” creative profile.

Tabbal’s drum kit may have been at the back of the elevated stage, but the dreadlocked leader literally got right out front from the jump, launching into a martial solo that he quickly expanded on, and then expanded on it once again. This was the explosive overture to “March For Gloria,” which suddenly appeared as Tabbal brought his solo down to a head-bobbing groove, bassist Michael Bisio rolled out a nice phat floor figure, and altoist Adam Siegel hit the hypnotic melody. The Albany native earned applause on this stage earlier this year when he sat in with Joe Barna’s Sketches of Influence, but that quick blast didn’t prepare us for what was to come on this night. Starting slowly and building systematically, Siegel’s lines got more complex and more intense with each passing chorus, eventually blasting out screaming notes that had us screaming right along as he took his alto as high as it would go.


LIVE: Joshua Radin @ The Egg, 11/6/15

Monday, November 23rd, 2015


Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

For a guy who only started playing guitar in 2002, singer-songwriter Joshua Radin has quickly come a long way, releasing a half-dozen studio albums and landing a number of his tunes in a variety of TV shows and films.

He made his way into The Egg’s Swyer Theatre earlier this month in support of his latest album, Onward and Sideways, released earlier this year.


LIVE: The Portland Cello Project @ the Madison Theater, 10/31/15

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Review by Greg Haymes

If someone officially designated October as Alt-Cello Awareness Month, I didn’t get the memo. But I definitely got the music…

The month started off with goth folk-rock cellist Melora Creager leading her band Rasputina in Troy at the Queen’s Ball, the after-party for the Enchated City steam-punk festival. Two weeks later at Club Helsinki in Hudson, Rasputina held a CD release party for their new album, “Unknown.” The following week, cellist-singer-songwriter Ben Sollee teamed up with the cello-led indie Orchestra Mother Falcon for a dazzling collaborative concert at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.

And on Halloween night, the month of October wrapped up with the biggest cello-bration of them all – the Portland Cello Project in a dizzying concert at Albany’s Madison Theater.

The Oregon-based collective – which can swell to as many as 20 members at their hometown gigs – featured a core touring group of five – count ’em, 5 – cellists at the Madison, which converted one of its movie theaters into a live performance venue a year ago. And if you have an aversion to genre-jumping, well, this wasn’t the place for you.


LIVE: A Vaudeville Circus @ the Tang Museum, 11/6/15

Friday, November 20th, 2015
The Waldorf School Circus Club

The Waldorf School Circus Club

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

On November 6, Skidmore College’s Tang Museum hosted the third of four monthly free Arts Fest Friday events. “A Vaudeville Circus” was a true variety show featuring music by guitarist Mike Campese and one-man band the Suitcase Junket; dance by Saratoga Jazz Tap; circus skill performances by the Skidmore Circus Club and Waldorf School Circus Club; an array of children’s activities and food from Circus Cafe. And, of course, in addition to the museum full entertainment, the audience was also surrounded by eye-popping exhibitions of intriguing, captivating visual art. It’s hard to imagine a better way to spend a couple of hours at the end of a long work week…


Music in the Present Tense: The Joe Krown Trio @ the Parish Public House, 11/13/15

Friday, November 20th, 2015

By Fred Rudofsky

The best bands move one’s feet, dazzle the brain and speak to the soul.

Allen Toussaint, acclaimed singer-songwriter-pianist-producer, died at age 78 last week of a heart attack following a concert in Spain. Though his name is not evoked verbally, the grooves of the Joe Krown Trio speak to his profound influence.

All three musicians are virtuosos from the Big Easy and have a history with native son Toussaint. As their website points out: “In November 2010, the Trio was invited to be part of 15-city U.S. tour called ‘New Orleans Nights.’ The Trio performed a feature set and then backed up Nicholas Payton and Allen Toussaint.” For singer-guitarist Walter “Wolfman” Washington, the loss must be acute: he knew the genius back in the 1960s, when Irma Thomas, Lee Dorsey and Ernie K. Doe were recording classics under the supervision of Toussaint, who wrote those early songs under the pseudonym “Naomi Neville,” his mother’s maiden name.

At Albany’s Parish Public House, Russell Batiste, Jr. plays with power and finesse, slicing and dicing time like it’s a big sweet onion, readying it for the sonic gumbo. Washington, seated and dapper (his beret, silver shoes and fine threads that would have made the late Toussaint smile in approval), fires off smooth solos and tangy rhythms from his guitar; his raspy vocals attest to decades of singing from the heart for the people. Joe Krown, perched behind his Hammond B-3, cooks up some meaty hooks and swirling fills. In 90 minutes, the band mesmerizes with instrumentals like “Trio’s Anthem” and “Another Day in the Life” from 2013’s Soul Understanding and reaches way back in the day for Ray Charles’s “Mary Ann”, Eddie Boyd’s “Five Long Years” and Bobby Bland’s “Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby.” George Jackson’s “Last Two Dollars” sounds like it was written just for Washington to sing – he owns it.


LIVE: The Chris Potter Trio @ A Place For Jazz, 11/13/15

Thursday, November 19th, 2015
The Drew Gress Trio

The Chris Potter Trio

Review by Jeff Nania
Photographs by Rudy Lu

A Place For Jazz finished the 2015 season with saxophonist Chris Potter’s new trio featuring drummer Adam Cruz and bassist Drew Gress, as they gave the performance which launched the rest of their U.S. tour.

They may have had some reliable devices with which they arranged tunes – the Potter out front-solo-solo-repeated riff by Potter and Gress-formula popped up a few times, but these were incredibly effective in creating a semblance of meat and structure for what could otherwise be a harmonically deficient format.

Potter was also keen to switch up his instrumentation. He played mostly tenor but picked up a bass clarinet for the ethereal “Dream Three.” He played an unaccompanied intro then an ostinato melody section which existed somewhere outside of time while Cruz made his way around the kit with mallets on the drum set and Gress plucked out a deep brooding slow bass part. Potter finished stating the melody and handed it off to Gress for a bass solo while Cruz grabbed for a small shaker to ease the space back down to nothing as Gress then also had a chance to play unaccompanied before Cruz again picked up his brushes and laid them just on the snare drum for a bit with quiet bursts from the cymbals.

“Dream Three” may have been the most different tune of the evening, but that’s not to say that everything was all so straight-ahead. Sure, the trio played the beautiful Mal Waldron ballad “Soul Eyes,” and then later showed their appreciation to the crowd with an encore performance of Charlie Parker’s “Relaxin’ at Camarillo,” but there was plenty of hard driving stuff throughout the night, including the hard hitting opening which was an obscured but recognizable tune by the Police, and the Potter original “Dr. Bentley,” which was “for all you ‘Naked Lunch’ fans out there,” Potter said referencing William S. Burroughs’ famous novel.


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