LIVE: The Clash of the Titans @ Flights of Fantasy, 1/12/14

January 15th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg
Ralph Lalama Otto Gardner and Jerry Weldon

Ralph Lalama, Otto Gardner and Jerry Weldon

Story and photographs by Rudy Lu

Flights of Fantasy Books & Games store in Colonie – Nippertown’s most unlikely and unusual jazz venue – played host to the “Clash of the Titans” concert last weekend. The A-list tenor saxophone tandem of Ralph Lalama and Jerry Weldon led a trumpet-less front end backed by a stellar Local 518 trio featuring Joe Barna on drums, Otto Gardner on bass and Dave Solazzo on keyboards.

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LIVE: Joe Magnarelli & Jerry Weldon @ A Place For Jazz, 9/20/13

October 1st, 2013, 4:00 pm by Greg
Joe Magnarelli

Joe Magnarelli

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu

Tim Coakley and the merry band at A Place for Jazz in Schenectady should have sub-titled the opening concert of the series’ 26th season “A Meeting of Friends.” Although this would be the first time we’d seen them play together, horn master Joe Magnarelli and tenor monster Jerry Weldon have gifted Greater Nippertown with their respective presences multiple times, earning them many fans and acres of good feelings. Given how familiar we are with these two artists, this show should have contained no surprises, but there was one big surprise – at least for me.

That their quintet came out with guns blazing was no surprise. Magnarelli and Weldon may not have been completely together on the opening of Jimmy Heath’s “Gingerbread Boy,” but that actually made things better, giving the piece an air of “Screw the polish! Let’s just play!” And anyway, their “unison” play didn’t last long before Magnarelli took off on his first solo, which was as clean, bright and muscular as you’d expect it to be, and even included a sub-reference to the Depression-era tune “We’re in the Money.” An unbound Magnarelli is a sight to see, and he gave the swelling crowd an eyeful with his first solo, and a taste of what the rest of the night would bring.

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Joe Barna’s Thinking Outside the Box

October 26th, 2010, 9:57 am by Greg

Joe Barna

Joe Barna (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

We gotta give jazz drummer-promoter Joe Barna big props for coming up with some unique and creative venues for his shows in the wake of the early September closing of the Bread & Jam Cafe in Cohoes.

Last month, he brought baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan into Professor Java’s Coffee Sanctuary on Wolf Road last month. (Read our review here.)

Now he’s bringing saxman Jerry Weldon in for a two-night stand at the Flights of Fantasy Bookstore in Colonie. In addition to Weldon on sax and Barna on drums, the trio will be rounded out by organist Kyle Koehler.

The Weldon trio shows are at 8pm on Saturday, November 6 and at 6pm on Sunday, November 7. Tix are $10.

Holly & EvanCartoonist John CaldwellThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCaffe LenaAdvertise on Nippertown!Capital Repertory TheaterBerkshire On Stage