Five Reasons to See The Bad Plus Joshua Redman @ Alive at Five Today

June 11th, 2015, 12:00 pm by Greg


Story by J Hunter
Drawing by Charles H. Haymes

At this time of year, you usually only see second-generation tenor man Joshua Redman and the infamous acoustic trio The Bad Plus at places like Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, where the price of a 1-day lawn pass is $60 and inside seats go for $85 a pop – and that’s before you throw down for whatever expensive-but-worth-it drinks and vittles are for sale. Alive at Five is a free show. Do the math.

This dizzying pairing is like one of those one-off comic books where superheroes you normally never see together – Superman and Spider-Man, for instance – have a hellacious fight before joining forces and defeating some amorphous super-villain. This show pairs an artist and a band that have cut separate (but equally brilliant) swathes through the jazz world over the last 20 years. The only villains on hand at Jennings Landing will be heat and humidity, and we’ll all be fighting them.

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Chick Corea, What Was the First Album You Ever Bought?

April 2nd, 2012, 1:00 pm by Greg
Chick Corea (illustration by Charles Haymes)

Chick Corea (illustration by Charles Haymes)

“I remember the first record store that I used to go to on Mass. Ave. in Boston, where I grew up. There was a guy who worked there named Jimmy, who was a friend to me and my drummer buddy Lenny Nelson. And I remember going in there and checking with Jimmy on the release of some of the records that I was waiting to get.

I think that it was probably later on, but I remember hearing about the first Miles Davis solo album. It was called ‘Dig,’ and it had Sonny Rollins on it. And Horace Silver and Percy Heath and, I think, Art Blakey, too.

I used to go by the store and ask Jimmy, ‘Is it in yet? Is it in yet?’ And I remember that when it finally did come in, me and my friend Lenny just devoured the album.

But actually some of the very first records that I remember listening to were 78s that my dad owned – things like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie’s recordings on Roost and some of Bud Powell’s music.”

A DownBeat Hall of Famer, 18-time Grammy Award-winner, brilliant American composer and undisputed keyboard virtuoso, Chick Corea steps into the spotlight for a solo piano concert at the College of Saint Rose’s Massry Center in Albany at 7:30pm on Wednesday (April 4). Tix are $35; VIP tix including pre-concert reception are $75. UPDATE: This concert is now officially sold out.

Kenny Rogers, What Was the First Album You Ever Bought?

December 19th, 2011, 2:00 pm by Greg
Kenny Rogers

“I don’t know that I remember. When I was in high school, I had a group that was called the Scholars, which was a huge misnomer because I think we were lucky if we had C averages, but we really liked the Four Freshmen, so we called ourselves the Scholars.

Anyway, we ended up owning a record store when we were in high school, so I don’t know if I ever really bought an album. It was just a little thing called the Scholars’ Record Rack, and it was about 100 square feet, you know, 10×10′. But we broke even or made a little money. It was kind of fun because we were high school entrepreneurs. We sold a lot of records, had no clue about business and probably got broken into once a week.

I listened to the radio a lot, but I don’t know if I even had a record player at that time. I honestly don’t remember actually, physically going out and buying an album.”

Veteran country-pop superstar Kenny Rogers brings his annual “Christmas & Hits Tour” to Proctors in Schenectady at 8pm on Thursday. Billy Dean will be his special guest. Tix are $20, $35, $45, $55 & $70.

Illustration by Charles Haymes

Kenny Rogers, What Is Your Favorite Holiday Song?

Michael Feinstein, What Was the First Album You Ever Bought?

November 18th, 2011, 11:00 am by Greg
Michael Feinstein (drawing by Charles Haymes)

Michael Feinstein (drawing by Charles Haymes)

“That’s kind of a tricky question because I used to buy 78s at the Goodwill and thrift shops long before I started buying albums. But the first classical album that I ever remember buying was the Rachmaninoff second piano concerto played by Leonard Pennario and the LA Phil conducted by maestro Alfred Wallenstein. It was on Capitol Records.

I remember that I paid $3.67 for it because that was a lot of money for me back then.”

Singer-pianist Michael Feinstein teams up with composer-pianist Marvin Hamlisch to perform an evening of selections from the Great American Songbook at Proctors in Schenectady at 8pm on Saturday (November 19). Tix are $20, $40, $50, $60 & $90.

k.d. lang, What Was the First Album You Ever Bought?

June 28th, 2011, 12:00 pm by Greg

k.d. lang

“Yes, I remember the first record album that I ever bought, but you know, I can’t believe that you’re going to make me tell you.

It was Bobby Sherman… but I have a good reason, though.

It was because of my swimming instructor. Her name was Julie, and I had a total crush on her. And Bobby Sherman had that song, ‘Julie, Julie, Julie, do you love me?’

That’s why I bought it.”

In support of her new album, “Sing It Loud,” the sublime vocalist k.d. lang and her band, the Siss Boom Bang, kick off the 2011 summer concert season at the Belleayre Music Festival at Belleayre Mountain in Highmount at 8pm on Sunday. The Belle Brigade opens the show. Tix are $47, $57, $67, $77 and $97; lawn tix $25.

Drawing by Charles Haymes.

Nathan Williams, What Was the First Album You Ever Bought?

June 9th, 2011, 11:00 am by Greg

Nathan Williams

“When I was growing up, Clifton Chenier, the king of zydeco, was my favorite, and my grandmother used to have his album, ‘Black Snake Blues.’

But I used to really love the blues, too. And I think that the first album that I ever bought was a live album by B.B. King. It was a long time ago, when I was only eight or nine years old.”

Accordionist-vocalist Nathan Williams and his band the Zydeco Cha-Chas transform Club Helsinki in Hudson into a Louisiana dance hall at 9pm on Friday. Tix are $18. And don’t forget your dancin’ shoes…

Drawing by Charles Haymes.

Flashback: The 50th Anniversary of the First Man in Space

April 12th, 2011, 10:00 am by Greg

Charles Haymes: Launch to New Frontiers

Happy Yuri’s Night!

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the space flight of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man to orbit the earth. And, fittingly, it’s also the anniversary of the first Space Shuttle, Columbia, in 1981.

“Circling the Earth in my orbital spaceship I marveled at the beauty of our planet. People of the world, let us safeguard and enhance this beauty — not destroy it!” – Yuri Gagarin

Video of news footage: Russia celebrates space flight anniversary.

Painting: Charles H. Haymes’ “Launch to New Frontiers”

John Whelan, What Was the First Album You Ever Bought?

February 10th, 2011, 10:17 am by Greg

John Whelan“I would have to say that probably the first album that I ever bought would have had to have been by Joe Burke, the great accordion player from Galway.

The reason I bought it was because I recorded an album for the same record company when I was 14 years old.

It was Outlet Records in Belfast, and Joe Burke had a new album out called ‘Galway’s Own Joe Burke.’ And I’m pretty sure that was the first album that I ever got.”

Celtic accordionist John Whelan teams up with French Canadian fiddler Donna Hebert to explore the Irish-French connection in concert at Old Songs in Voorheesville at 8pm on Saturday, February 12. Tix are $20; ages 12 & under $5.

(Illustration by Charles Haymes.)

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