LIVE: Transart Jazz in the Valley Festival @ Waryas Park, 8/18/13

September 5th, 2013, 4:00 pm by Greg
Javon Jackson, Donald Harrison, Gary Bartz

Javon Jackson, Donald Harrison, Gary Bartz

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

The 13th annual Transart Jazz in the Valley festival was held for the second year in Poughkeepsie’s Waryas Park. This year’s festival was a single-day affair held on two stages with one stage free to the public with local jazz performers.

The main stage this year featured the stylings of poet-vocalist Karen D. Taylor paying tribute to performance poet Jayne Cortez. St. Louis-based vocalist Denise Thimes belted out the blues with an all-star backup band featuring the master horn player Houston Person on tenor sax. Bassist Paul West, pianist Danny Mixon and drummer Winard Harper rounded out the top-notch rhythm section.

Trumpeter Maurice Brown – of the Tedeschi Trucks Band – brought a thoroughly contemporary sound to the festival with his R&B and hip-hop influenced brand of jazz. The other horn in his band was none other than rising star Marcus Strickland.

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Jazz-2K: CD Picks of the Week

October 3rd, 2011, 12:00 pm by Greg

If the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival and Lake George’s Jazz at the Lake got you fired up last month (and even if they didn’t), here are a few discs to stoke that fire:

“End of the Tunnel”

David Gibson: End of the Tunnel

One of the downsides of Posi-Tone being the biggest purveyor of trad jazz today is that most of their releases are so earnest, they make your teeth hurt. There are exceptions, though: The wild free-jazz collective Tarbaby, Orrin Evans’ monumental Captain Black Big Band and this tasty re-imagining of Hammond B3-flavored party jazz. David Gibson is one of those trombone players who refuses to let the trumpet players have all the fun, so he brought together a tight little unit and had some fun of his own. The group sets a grinning tone early with Herbie Hancock’s laughing “Blind Man, Blind Man,” and all the originals that follow take their cue from that sound. Gibson’s “Sunday Morning” and keyboardist Jared Gold’s “Preachin'” have that perfect mix of blues and gospel that made Jimmy Smith records so special, “Wasabi” brings the funk in easy take-home portions, and the urgent title track has the same adrenaline rush you get from driving through the Holland Tunnel at 3am with no brakes and no traffic. Gold’s own efforts as a leader have been nothing to write home about, but put him in a sideman situation where all he has to do is bring it, and he brings the B3 into the 21st century. Throw in brutal alto sax from Julius Tolentino and Quincy Davis’ rampant drums, and there’s a happening at “End of the Tunnel.”

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Caffe LenaHolly & EvanCartoonist John CaldwellJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantAdvertise on Nippertown!Artist Charles HaymesBerkshire On StageAlbany PoetsArtist GG Roberts