Archive for the ‘LIVE’ Category

LIVE: Steel House @ the Falcon, 9/9/14

Friday, September 19th, 2014
Steel House

Steel House

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

We are most fortunate that upstate New York jazz clubs and concert halls have been used as laboratories and proving grounds for world-class jazz musicians wanting to try out new compositions and bands in front of live audiences. In the ’90s, Chick Corea used the Van Dyck to work on new compositions with Origin. Joshua Redman used the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall as his retreat and rehearsal space to develop the arrangements for his album of mostly covers Timeless Tales.

Such was the case again last week when the new band Steel House debuted all new compositions. While Albany rocked to the triple-drum threat of King Crimson, listeners at the Falcon in tiny Marlboro were treated to the gentle playing of a new all-star jazz trio.

The band is composed of:

Ed Simon (piano, keyboards): who I have seen at The Egg with the SF Jazz Ensemble and has recently released a solo cd
Scott Colley (bass): who most recently has seen in Nippertown playing in Gary Burton’s New Quartet
Brian Blade (drums): best known for his association with Joni Mitchell as well as leading his Fellowship Band

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LIVE: Mirk @ the Hollow Bar + Kitchen, 9/13/14

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Video by Timothy Reidy

Mirk takes the stage at the Hollow Bar + Kitchen in Albany for the official PearlPalooza after-party on Saturday, September 13.

On Saturday (September 20), Mirk will close out the Washington Avenue Stage at LarkFest in Albany. GO HERE for more details and a complete LarkFest schedule of bands…

LIVE: Billy Cobham’s Spectrum 40 Band @ The Egg, 8/30/14

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
Billy Cobham

Billy Cobham

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Back in the late ’60s and early ’70s, Billy Cobham established himself as one of the prime architects of the jazz-rock fusion sound as the drummer with such bands as Dreams (featuring the Brecker Brothers), Miles Davis (on his classic 1970 “A Tribute to Jack Johnson” album) and the high-flying Mahavishnu Orchestra. Melding jazz sensibilities and rock aggression, Cobham struck the perfect balance.

Now 70 years old, does Cobham still have the right stuff? Oh yes, indeed, he does. In concert in front of a nearly packed house at The Egg’s Swyer Theatre recently, he deftly walked the tightrope between explosive power and exacting precision.

He was leading his Spectrum 40 Band, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Spectrum, his groundbreaking 1973 solo album debut, but Cobham wasn’t content to merely throw together a “tribute band” for a routine retrospective run through Spectrum in its entirity. Oh no. In fact, he and the band were nearly a half hour into their show before they launched into their first selection from Spectrum, a muscular, funky strut through “Stratus,” which showcased the thrumming bass pulse of Ric Fierabracci, the angular, glitch ‘n’ pop attack of keyboardist Gary Husband and the seismic guitar freak-out of Dean Brown.

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LIVE: Diane Cluck @ Caffe Lena, 9/14/14

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
 Diane Cluck

Diane Cluck

Review and photograph by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Soft spoken and, in a way shy, Diane Cluck is the kind of performer that makes her audience lean into the song to hear the words… because they want to. Not because of lack of amplification, but because it’s an intimate thing. Her lovely, woven tapestry of story-telling through song – like her vivid tune about Monte Carlo – makes the listeners follow the story as if they were a part of it.

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LIVE: Hamell On Trial @ the Low Beat, 9/6/14

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Review by Fred Rudofsky

Armed with a trove of songs, paintings for sale, and bawdy jokes (including a couple told by his son, Detroit) unlike those of anyone else on the planet, Hamell On Trial put on a dynamic Saturday night show at the Low Beat.

An extended break-neck rhythm pattern established the tension of a shaken universe in “A Little Concerned, That’s All,” a key song from Tough Love. Next, Hamell joked that he would be featuring a 45-minute interpretive dance number, but chose instead to sing off-microphone the bizarre yet true trio of drug-related tales of “When You Are Young,” set to an indelibly bouncy Yiddish folk melody. “Seven Seas,” a staple of his live show for many years, offered newcomers to Hamell On Trial a chance to hear the story of the vintage acoustic guitar he bought one day from Buzzy on Lark Street. Some of Hamell’s most beloved songs -”Blood of the Wolf,” “Hail,” “Inquiring Minds” and “Bill Hicks” (the latter by request, thank you) were written on it and featured in the set.

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LIVE: King Crimson @ The Egg, 9/9&10/14

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Review by Bokonon

Breowrr bah-duh-dah bumpa, brrawwr brawwr…

Take your own stab at spelling it out, but the opening strains of “21st Century Schizoid Man” sent yet another thrilling shiver through The Egg last Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Another? Well, geez, it was competing with the performance premiere of “One More Red Nightmare” (40 years on from its vinyl bow), the barbed art crunch of “Red” and the righteous skronk of “Sailor’s Tale” (itself last heard live in 1972).

King Crimson was in the house and it was any prog fan’s wet dream. Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant… pussies all compared to — Jack Black, back me up here — the majesty of King Crimson.

While the other blokes his age were bluesing it up through the late ’60s, Robert Fripp was getting his Henry Purcell on, forging a baroque jazz metal weirdness that festers to this day.

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LIVE: The Fray @ the Palace Theatre, 9/9/14

Monday, September 15th, 2014
The Fray

The Fray

Radio station 99.5 The River hosted its “Fall Night In” concert at Albany’s Palace Theatre this past Tuesday night, and while King Crimson was churning up a massive night of prog-rock over at The Egg, the Palace took on a more pop-oriented triple-bill with the Fray headlining the evening’s festivities in support of their latest album, Helios.

But it was A Great Big World – keyboardist-vocalist Ian Axel and vocalist-trumpeter Chad Vaccarino with their backing band – who all but stole the show with their omni-present hit, “Say Something” (co-written by Albany High grad Mike Campbell).

Pop singer-songwriter Andy Grammer opened the show, and brought out a bunch Local 518 friends and contest winners to sing along with him onstage for “Back Home.”

SECOND OPINIONS
Tom Templeton’s review at The Times Union

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LIVE: Louise Schulman & Bill Zito @ the Strand Theater, 8/23/14

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Louise Schulman and Bill Zito

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

The first half of this New York City-based chamber duo’s recent performance at Schroon Lake’s Strand Theater was a mix of 18th century works by Christian Gottlieb Scheidler and Mauro Giuliani. But right in the middle of the repertoire during the first half of the concert was Peter Schickele’s “Windows,” composed in 1966. Of course, Schickele’s alter ego was the comedic P.D.Q. Bach, a fictitious younger relative of the great Johann S. Bach, part of that historical German classical-music triumvirate – Bach, Beethoven & Brahms – that still influences classical musicians today.

After a brief intermission, the second set kicked off with more Mauro Giuliani, followed by a contemporary nod to the late jazz and classical Argentinean legend, Astor Piazzolla. His composition, “Cafe 1930,” caused more than a few toes to tap the rhythm of the composition soulfully interpreted by violist Louise Schulman and guitarist Bill Zito.

Zito sat under the spotlights and tuned his acoustic classical guitar for two pieces of solo virtuosity. Schulman walked off the stage with her 16th century hand-crafted viola and joined the audience for a listen. The room took on a different atmosphere with two Spanish classical compositions by Enrique Granados and Isaac Albinez, both 19th century composers, that made Zito’s fingers fly up and down on the fretboard shaping a tonal spectrum that encompassed the dynamic extremes of sound from gentle subtlety to aggressive arpeggios.

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