Posts Tagged ‘Lake George Jazz Weekend’

LIVE: Lake George Jazz Weekend @ Shepard Park, 9/16/12 (Day Two)

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
Steve Berrnstein (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Steve Berrnstein (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Additional photographs by J Hunter

Day 2: A few less clouds, a little more warmth, and the kind of bright blue sky that makes the green surrounding Lake George seem even crisper. The color explosion that comes with fall hadn’t started yet, but you could see its beginnings in the tinges of orange on the tips of the trees in Shepard Park. Either way, the Autumnal Equinox was still six days off, so the agenda for the afternoon was to sit back, relax, and take in the last day of the last jazz festival of summer.

Anyone who’s experienced Jazz at the Lake knows that the creative force behind the festival – artistic director Paul Pines – used to run a jazz club in the Bowery called the Tin Palace. Pines has talked about it and written about it, but until tenorman John Tank stepped onstage, many of us had never heard anyone else speak about the venue the Canadian expatriate played in the 1970s. Dressed for the season in a yellow jacket, white pants, and a jaunty blue slouch cap, Tank called the Tin Palace “a community-based group.” Although Pines brought in big-name talent like vocalists Sheila Jordan and Eddie Jefferson, Tank said, “If you just lived in the neighborhood, you could work at the Tin Palace.” These were happy and strong memories, and they definitely fueled this opening set.

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LIVE: Lake George Jazz Weekend @ Shepard Park, 9/15/12 (Day One)

Friday, September 21st, 2012
Donald Harrison, Jr. (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Donald Harrison, Jr. (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Additional photographs by J Hunter

I’d seen almost everyone on the bill for Day One of the Lake George Jazz Weekend (aka, Jazz at the Lake), and my iPod Classic contains music that has each performer in either a starring or a featured role. Therefore, I expected to get what I usually get at Shepard Park every year – an afternoon (and, on Saturday, an evening) of sublime music in one of the coolest settings on the planet. What I didn’t expect was to get my ass kicked by four world-class pianists, but that’s the way it shook out.

One pianist I was ready for was Emilio Solla. A classically-trained Argentinian pianist with six CDs to his name, Solla started out in the clear, playing lilting and evocative lines as the boats floated by on the breeze-stirred waters. He’d started slow, but he built the speed and intensity as Ziv Ravitz added an urgent hand-drummed backbeat on cajon that would lead the rest of the band into the astonishing brightness of “Llegera, Llegera, Llegera.” Victor Prieto’s accordion teamed with Chris Cheek’s reeds to make a unique front-line harmonic, and when Solla chimed in, it was like nothing I could describe, except you couldn’t help but smile like a fool. Solla did a lot of smiling himself as his quintet pulled Astor Piazzolla’s romantic tango firmly into the 21st century, all the while bringing an improvisatory sense other attempts to modernize Piazzolla have sorely lacked.

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Real Good for Free: Lake George Jazz Weekend, 9/15-16/12

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Yes, the weather certainly short-changed jazz fans at the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival last Saturday, as the three headlining bands were washed out. Let’s hope the same thing doesn’t happen this weekend, as jazz fans gather at Shepard Park in Lake George for the 29th annual end o’ summer jazz blowout – the Lake George Jazz Weekend: Jazz at the Lake.

With the sparkling lake as a back-drop for the music, the little park in the heart of Lake George makes for a perfect festival setting. Sponsored by the Lake George Arts Project, admission to the fest is free all throughout the festivities on Saturday and Sunday (September 15 & 16). Bring along a lawn chair or blanket. Several food vendors will be present in the park, and there are plenty of restaurants and pubs within walking distance right there on Canada Street. And best of all is the opportunity to hear the fabulous line-up of world-class jazz musicians who will be gracing the stage throughout the weekend.

Here’s the schedule of performances for the Lake George Jazz Weekend: Jazz at the Lake 2012:

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