JAZZ 2K: Jazz Appreciation Month (Already in Progress…)

April 13th, 2012, 11:00 am by Greg

By J Hunter

Okay, class, let’s review…

March in Greater Nippertown was a monster build-up to the second-greatest thing the Smithsonian Institution ever gave the world (The Air & Space Museum wins the Gold Medal, hands down): Terrific new releases from Brian Patneaude and Keith Pray, plus knockout shows by SFJAZZ Collective, Ravi Coltrane, Wynton Marsalis & the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Allan Holdsworth, the Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet, the Joe Krown Trio and Ahmad Jamal among many others.

And Jazz Appreciation Month itself has already been pretty tasty, thanks to a powerful solo show by Chick Corea (review forthcoming) and an outstanding drop party for Michael Benedict & Bopitude’s new disc “Five and One.”

But JAM really shifts into high gear in Nippertown this weekend, both on a global and a local level. And since today – Friday, April 13 – is officially National Jazz Day (Hey, the U.S. Council of Mayors says so…), here’s some very good ideas for how to spend this weekend:

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Multi-Talented Chris Brubeck Leads the Brubeck Brothers Quartet into Town, 8/5/11

August 4th, 2011, 1:00 pm by Greg
Chris Brubeck

Chris Brubeck

Back in June when Nippertown last saw ebullient multi-instrumentalist Chris Brubeck, he and his cohorts in Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play – guitarist/vocalist/Skidmore’s Dean of Music Joel Brown and harp player/percussionist/all-around madman Peter Madcat Ruth – were making the Zankel Music Center dance with a little help from Joel’s father Frank Brown (who’s a hell of a clarinet player) and a very distinguished older gentleman named Dave Brubeck.

The younger Brubeck will be back in Nippertown on Friday, when the Brubeck Brothers Quartet warms up for the Newport Jazz Festival with a gig at Gallagher’s Banquet Hall in Cairo. Brubeck was gracious enough to provide the following interview:

You play piano, fretless bass and bass trombone – all with equal amounts of dexterity and creativity. Which instrument did you gravitate to first, and how did the others come into your life?

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LIVE: Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play @ Skidmore’s Zankel Music Center, 6/10/11

June 15th, 2011, 1:00 pm by Greg
Chris Brubeck

Chris Brubeck

Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play don’t do a show, per se. What they do is they play music, have way too much fun doing it, and you get to watch. These guys really dig playing with each other, and the resulting sense of unbridled joy took the anchor event of Saratoga ArtsFest to a really special place. The good-time vibe was accented by the fact that this was a homecoming of sorts: Triple Play recorded their first disc at Skidmore; Brubeck has done a stint as a visiting professor; and guitarist Joel Brown just happens to be Dean of Skidmore’s music department. The trees on the other side of Zankel’s wonderwall of glass added a lovely environmental element that blended perfectly with Triple Play’s distinctive brand of “roots music.”

Old School Brubeck fans perked up immediately as the trio opened with the semi-ragtime sounds of “Polly,” but jazz is only part of Triple Play’s attack. The too-funked-up-for-words original “New Stew (Opus 2)” is a foot-tapping country-blues breakdown of King Curtis’ “Memphis Soul Stew”, and while their take on Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads” may have Cream’s hard-charging tempo, but Brown’s guitar and Peter Madcat Ruth’s harmonica brought the piece most of the way back to the original.

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Jim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCaffe LenaHolly & EvanCartoonist John CaldwellAdvertise on Nippertown!Berkshire On StageMohawk Hudson Humane Society