Archive for the ‘LIVE’ Category

LIVE: The Adirondack Balloon Festival, 9/21/14

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Adirondack Balloon Fest 2014 (photos by Stanley Johnson)

Photographs by Stanley Johnson

“Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon?
Would you like to glide in my beautiful balloon?
We could flow among the stars, together you and I

For we can fly, up, up and away
(For we can fly)
In my beautiful, my beautiful balloon…”

The annual Adirondack Balloon Festival was held earlier this month at Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport in Queensbury, and Nippertown photographer Stanley Johnson was there to capture all of the glory of the colorful balloons in flight…

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

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Video by Timothy Reidy

Rubblebucket’s “Came Out of a Lady” at the Hollow Bar + Kitchen, Albany…

LIVE: G. Love / John Hammond @ Skidmore’s Zankel Music Center, 9/7/14

Thursday, September 25th, 2014
G. Love

G. Love

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Lena Spencer first opened the doors to Caffe Lena more than a half century ago, and thanks to Sarah Craig – who’s been the director and guiding light of the little-coffeehouse-that-could for the past 20 years – two generations of Caffe favorites came together on the stage of Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center earlier this month in a blues-soaked benefit for the enduring Saratoga folk music haven. It was a night of Blues Hall of Famer John Hammond and his ’90s hit-making acolyte G. Love.

Hammond made his debut at Lena’s way back in 1962, but at the Zankel, only his silver hair that gave away his status as a 71-year-old blues veteran. Looking fit and trim and still sounding like a howling hurricane, Hammond opened the show with a crackling, foot-stomping, hour-long set that served as something of a career retrospective as he sat alone on a center-stage stool with his guitar and harmonica, rumbling through a dozen tasty tunes that dipped deep into the songbags of the blues greats that influenced him – from Lightning Slim to Buddy Guy, from Howlin’ Wolf to Blind Willie McTell, from Bobby Bland to Sleepy John Estes.

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LIVE: The Clifton Anderson Quintet @ A Place for Jazz, 9/12/14

Thursday, September 25th, 2014
Clifton Anderson

Clifton Anderson

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

A Place for Jazz kicked off its 2014 fall concert season at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady’s Whisperdome earlier this month with a stellar performance by the veteran jazz trombonist Clifton Anderson. The former member of Sonny Rollins’ band set the pace with the opening “And So We Carry On” and kept things solidly swinging throughout the evening’s performance.

Bolstered by an ace band – featuring bassist Paul Beaudry, drummer Steve Williams, saxman Eric Wyatt and pianist Victor Gould – the 56-year-old Anderson served up a tasty sampling of standards (Duke Ellington’s “In a Mellow Tone”), originals (the show-closing “Been Down This Road Before”), show tunes (“Tomorrow” from “Annie”) and a curve ball or two, as well (a wild interpretation of the ’60s Japanese pop hit “Sukiyaki,” aka “You Took Your Love Away from Me”).

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LIVE: Peter Case @ the Low Beat, 9/12/14

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014
Peter Case

Peter Case

Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Al Goldberg

Peter Case wowed a small but fervent crowd on a recent Friday night at the Low Beat in Albany, but you weren’t there. What gives?!

In a 100-minute performance, Case would have weened you from a pathetic addiction to an iPhone and/or reality television, cured your blues, and whet your thirst for the many robust beverages the intimate Low Beat offers that put your squeaky clean fridge-full of light beers to shame. You, however, chose a night in. (And it wasn’t even a school night, which is, by the way, the ultimate cliched cop-out for not going out to support live music). You should have sprinted over to this one, because, as Case put it so well in his opening song, “Who’s gonna walk your crooked mile?”

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LIVE: Snarky Puppy @ Upstate Concert Hall, 9/11/14

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Snarky Puppy

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Led by bassist-guitarist-composer-arranger Michael League, the Grammy Award-winning instrumental collective Snarky Puppy kicked off the US leg of their tour at the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park on Thursday, September 11. Local 518 faves Mister F opened the show.

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LIVE: Jazz at the Lake @ Shepard Park, 9/14/14 (Day Two)

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014
Jane Bunnett (photo by Rudy Lu)

Jane Bunnett (photo by Rudy Lu)

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu, Andrzej Pilarczyk, M. Cheri Bordelon, J Hunter

Ahhh, there’s no place like home – even if it is windy, chilly, and you’ve got to get there over an hour before showtime if you want to get a good view. The Shepard Park amphitheater was more crowded than usual at that time, and the “blame” goes to Mayor Bob Blais, who told the Lake George meter readers to stay home that day. With no need to park some distance from park, most of the good spots were taken by the time I rolled up. Some of those who weren’t able to lay their picnics out on the lawn the day before were already setting up lunch, and while I didn’t get my usual perch, the spot I did claim gave me a prime view of one of the most interesting afternoons I’ve ever spent at Jazz at the Lake.

Let’s start with Billy Martin’s Wicked Knee, whose 2013 release Heels Over Head went over my head completely. Maybe I’d been listening to too much Rebirth Brass Band at the time, so I just didn’t feel Martin’s unique variant on NOLA street music. But when I saw the group on stage, in full cry, it all came together for me. Watching Sexmob do its own wild thing the day before might have helped the process; having Sexmob leader Steven Bernstein playing alongside trombone legend Curtis Fowlkes and tuba player Marcus Rojas definitely helped matters. Either way, when that mammoth front line launched its first salvo, you could taste that spicy gumbo, and developing a taste for it was not hard.

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LIVE: Steely Dan @ SPAC, 8/31/14

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

SteelyDan2

Review by Kirsten Ferguson
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Steely Dan dubbed their latest tour – which came to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center on August 31 after travelling across North America for much of the summer – the “Jamalot Ever After Tour.” No real subtlety there – assuming that by “Jamalot” they meant their big band of wizard-proficient musicians and vocalists would stretch way out on jazzified, solo-filled versions of their songs, which were culled primarily from the group’s ‘70s studio recording heyday.

But “jam” also implies an element of spontaneity and, no, this was a carefully scripted affair, based on a fairly predictable formula and set list honed over the group’s last several tours – heavy on the (admittedly brilliant) tunes from the multi-platinum Aja (“Black Cow,” “Aja,” “Josie,” “Peg”) and FM staples like “Hey Nineteen,” “Reelin’ in the Years,” “My Old School” and “Rikki Don’t Lose that Number.”

Steely Dan masterminds Donald Fagen (keyboards and vocals) and Walter Becker (guitar) now embrace touring in a way they never did in their more studio-focused early days, but given their reputation as control freaks in love with extreme precision and technical proficiency, it’s no real surprise that they would approach their live show the way they do now – with a highly polished band of pros who showcase their jazz-pop prowess by taking solos throughout the night, lit under a rotating spotlight.

Concert-goers were still making their way to their seats as the 11-piece backing band – minus Fagen and Becker – opened with the Latin-flavored instrumental cover of Ray Bryant’s “Cubano Chant.” Then the two somewhat curmudgeonly looking lead guys arrived – Fagen taking his hunched seat behind the keyboard for “Black Cow” and “Aja,” the latter song featuring a Fagen keytar solo, a sax solo by Walt Weiskopf and a drum solo by Keith Carlock.

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