LIVE: Jazz at the Lake @ Shepard Park, Day One, 9/17/11

September 21st, 2011, 4:00 pm by Greg
Don Byron and DK Tyson

Don Byron and DK Dyson

For 28 years, Jazz at the Lake has been one of the last outdoor festivals on the schedule, which means it’s one last blast of summer. Neither rain, wind, fog, paddle-wheeler horns or Revolutionary War re-enactments has stopped Paul Pines, John Strong and the merry band of folks at Lake George Arts Project from annually delivering two straight afternoons of musical bliss. So when the sunshine at showtime was only going to be temporary, and one in four people sitting on the hillside and in the amphitheater was wearing some kind of fleece, what would be the most appropriate music to get this party started?

Afro-Cuban, of course!

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CD Picks of the Week: “A Night in Treme” Edition

June 23rd, 2011, 12:00 pm by Greg

In honor of one of Sunday’s anchor acts at this weekend’s Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, here are five “instant classics” from The City that Care Forgot:

Christian Scott: Yesterday You Said TomorrowCHRISTIAN SCOTT: “Yesterday You Said Tomorrow” (Concord, 2010)A Skidmore Jazz Institute alum and the nephew of saxman/“Night in Treme” leader Donald Harrison Jr., Scott was anointed as NOLA’s “next big thing” some time ago. But while his ability as a trumpet player has never been questioned, and all his previous discs were solid, Scott takes it through a whole new door on “Yesterday.” Balancing biting social consciousness with heart-stopping talents as a player and composer, Scott takes on his hometown police department (“K.K.P.D.”), Louisiana’s medieval prison system (“Angola, LA & the 13th Amendment”), and the foes of marriage equality (“The Last Broken Heart (Prop 8)”). Throw in a dead-solid-perfect re-boot of Radiohead’s “The Eraser,” and “Yesterday” is more than just a “breakthrough release” for someone who’s already broken through. As Richard Dreyfuss said in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “This means something! This is important!”

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A Year in the Life of Saxman John Ellis

July 2nd, 2010, 11:06 am by Greg

When John Ellis arrived at the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival last weekend as the reedman with Kendrick Scott Oracle, we knew he meant business, and sure enough, he delivered.

Then it occurred to us that the saxophonist and sometime bass clarinetist certainly does know his way around Nippertown.

Here’s a little timeline and photo essay to show you what we mean:

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Jim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCaffe LenaHolly & EvanCartoonist John CaldwellAdvertise on Nippertown!The LindaBerkshire On StageHudson SoundsAustralian Cattle Dog Rescue Association