This Week’s Hit Parade: The Live Album Edition

February 28th, 2011, 11:30 am by Sara

“Blowin’ it Out”
(Self-released, 2011)
If the late Bread & Jam Café is remembered for only one thing, this electrifying live disc should be it. Joe Barna sets the full house on fire with an all-originals set that recalls jazz’s past, but doesn’t bow to it. The front line is seriously heavyweight, featuring Vanguard Jazz Orchestra alums Joe Magnarelli and Jon Gordon: “Joey Mags” injects muscle-car power into whatever he plays, while Gordon’s soprano on “Ivory Romance” is some of the best you’ll hear. Local hero Dave Solazzo’s usual lyrical piano matches Gordon on “Ivory”, but Solazzo also punches up Blowin’ with a funky aggression that gets B&J howling. This drops March 17, and it’s a must-have. Joe Barna & Sketches of Influence celebrate the release of “Blowin’ It Out” in concert at the College of Saint Rose’s Massry Center in Albany at 7:30pm on Thursday, March 17. Tix are $15.

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LIVE: Aretha Franklin @ EMPAC at RPI, 12/4/09

December 7th, 2009, 12:25 pm by Greg

It was a private party for the RPI community – faculty, staff, students, alum – to celebrate Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson’s tenth anniversary as college president. So there wasn’t any off-campus advertising for last Friday night’s concert by the one and only Aretha Franklin.

But there were no-shows – even for a soul-soaked, semi-swanky soiree like this one – so a surprising number of tickets were made available to the general public just before showtime. For free.

The last time that the Queen of Soul was scheduled to perform in the Capital Region was nearly three years ago at the Palace Theatre in Albany on March 17, 2007. Blasted by a somewhat freaky St. Patrick’s Day snowstorm, Franklin postponed the show to June 27. But before the date of that concert rolled around on the calendar, Franklin had canceled that make-up date as well.

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