Posts Tagged ‘Richard Brody’

LIVE: Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival @ SPAC, 6/29/14 (Day Two)

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
The Eddy Palmieri Orchestra (photo by Rudy Lu)

The Eddie Palmieri Orchestra (photo by Rudy Lu)

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu
Additional photographs by Richard Brody, Cheri Bordelon, Andrzej Pilarczyk, J Hunter

“We’d like to close our set…” altoist/alt-jazz music mogul Tim Berne began his intro to “Static,” earning a hearty laugh from the Gazebo Stage crowd. True, Berne and his whip-smart quartet Snakeoil – Dave Douglas Quintet pianist Matt Mitchell, reedman Oscar Noriega and (making his second appearance at the Gazebo that weekend) percussionist Ches Smith – had just turned our heads around several times with 15 minutes of free-form madness to kick off Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival’s Sunday bill at SPAC, but there was no way these guys were going to play one tune for 45 minutes… right?

Well… sort-of right: “Static” turned out to be a careening multi-chapter suite that had the ensemble alternating off-its-head rubato with wildly complex melodies and figures – some pounding, some silky soft – that only seemed to lift the soloists to dizzier and dizzier heights. Noriega’s bass clarinet repeatedly traveled the distance between sub-sonic and shrieking, sometimes taking over the foundation so Mitchell could have room to express himself. If Smith played a straight beat, then I missed it, because when the deranged-looking stick figure wasn’t soloing, he was on the fill whether he was on drums or vibes. (Surprisingly, Smith’s vibes work was extremely tender in places.) Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence may have spun the Gazebo like a roulette wheel to close the Saturday bill, but Berne’s off-world excursions made Brown’s explorations seem simple in comparison.



LIVE: Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Fest @ SPAC, 6/28/14 (Day One)

Monday, July 14th, 2014
Ronnie Earl (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Ronnie Earl (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Additional photographs by Richard Brody and J Hunter

You had to feel for Lew Tabackin. Second on the bill at Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival’s Gazebo stage, the veteran multi-instrumentalist arrived just in time to watch the Marc Cary Focus Trio laying waste to the place with “Taiwa,” drummer Sameer Gupta’s extraordinary East/West mash-up that recalls fusion giants Return To Forever – only with a wicked groove RTF never, ever achieved. Tabackin was expressionless as he watched, but his thoughts had to run along the lines of “I’ve gotta follow this? Really?” (Tabackin later met the fate of artists who substitute effort for ideas.)

“The music is radiating us,” Cary enthused after the piece. “It’s inspired us!” And it had to: Cary and his partners got to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center via an overnight train ride from Washington DC, only arriving in Greater Nippertown that morning. But Cary was celebrating 20 years as a leader, and his band was down with the program and each other. The first 10 minutes of the Focus Trio’s mind-blowing set was completely off the cuff, as Cary built beautifully byzantine structures with Gupta and bassist Rashaan Carter. They switched from bottomless rubato to the Jackie McLean’s hard-bopping “Appointment in Ghana” without taking a breath, and “CD Changer” tossed pieces from 10 of Cary’s early compositions and sent them right at our heads. Cary had the crowd so riveted, they applauded him whenever he switched from acoustic piano to Fender Rhodes – kind of like if the gallery at a golf tournament applauded Tiger Woods whenever he switched from a 5-iron to a sand wedge.


LIVE: James McMurtry / the Bottle Rockets @ The Egg, 6/5/14

Thursday, June 12th, 2014
James McMurtry

James McMurtry

Review by Richard Brody
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

James McMurtry is a storyteller. Not surprising, considering his father is a book collector and a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist. However it was not the books that interested young James, but his father’s stories at the dinner table and family gatherings. That is where he got his first sense of narrative, and the wry stories that comprise his best songs followed.

McMurtry is not just a writer; his guitar playing gives a sense of time and place that supports each song’s lyrical content. In concert at The Egg’s Swyer Theatre last week, that was evident from the first song of the evening, “Bayou Tortue;” the swamp guitar underscoring the protagonist’s roving eye and a late night that left him coming home to his wife without a “decent lie.”


LIVE: Living Colour @ Empire State Plaza, 6/4/14

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014
Corey Glover (photo by Rudy Lu)

Living Colour’s Corey Glover (photo by Rudy Lu)

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Rudy Lu
Additional photographs by Richard Brody, Stanley Johnston

When the Governor Nelson Rockefeller regime built the Empire State Plaza back in the ’60s, it displaced and destroyed a huge and vital chunk of the City of Albany’s neighborhoods. So it was with no small sense of irony that Living Colour ripped into “Open Letter (To a Landlord)” on Wednesday night from the stage on the very same plaza.

“Now you can tear a building down
But you can’t erase a memory
These houses may look all run down
But they have a value you can’t see…”

Whether the band had any idea about the concert site’s history or not is moot. The song was virtually written to be played on that stage, and the added weight of the ESP’s history imbued the ferocious anti-gentrification anthem with a weight that it probably doesn’t carry at most Living Colour concerts.

Then again, maybe they did know exactly what they were singing about – and where they were singing it. Vocalist Corey Glover kicked off their show by declaring, “We finally made it to the Capital, and we’re ready to burn it down.”

And, burn, baby, burn, they did. At least musically speaking.


LIVE: Albany Tulip Festival @ Washington Park, 5/11/14 (Day Two)

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014
The Lucky Jukebox Brigade

The Lucky Jukebox Brigade (photo by Timothy Reidy)

Photographs by Timothy Reidy
Additional photographs by Richard Brody

For Day Two of Albany’s 66th annual Tulip Festival, the weather cooperated perfectly, and the two stages of non-stop music went off without a hitch – no cancellations like Day One.

And, in fact, Tulip Fest Sunday – aka Mothers’ Day – offered a broader spectrum of music than Saturday’s line-up. From Nicole Vaness Ortiz’s Main Stage opening tribute to Whitney Houston to Tonic frontman Emerson Hart’s fest wrap-up showcase of tunes from his new solo album, Beauty in Disarray, the Main Stage activity was less rock-oriented and more family-friendly. Singer-songwriter Caroline Glaser – a popular contestant on NBC-TV’s “The Voice” singing competition – served up some sparkling indie-folk sounds, and the Local 518 even got some Main Stage representation with Troy guitarslinger Graham Tichy leading his band through a roots-rock cavalcade that stretched from rockabilly to swing.

Over at the Lakehouse Stage, the all-homegrown line-up of bands proved that the Local 518 is home to a healthy and diverse array of music, from the relatively new, fuzzed-out, instrumental surf sounds of the Kimono Dragons to the funky, horn-fueled jazz of the Chronicles to the harmony-laden Americana folk-rock of the North & South Dakotas to the finale rousing blast of the cabaret/party band the Lucky Jukebox Brigade, previewing some fresh new tunes from their upcoming sophomore album, it was a grand day for music.

LIVE: Albany Tulip Festival @ Washington Park, 5/10/14 (Day One)


ArtBeat: Photographer Judy Linn Looks Back

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
Judy Linn: Patti With Bolex

Judy Linn: Patti With Bolex

Interview by Richard Brody and Jeanne Flanagan
Photographs by Judy Linn

Recently Nippertown contributor Richard Brody and Esther Massry Gallery director Jeanne Flanagan had an opportunity to chat with photographer Judy Linn about her artwork and her current exhibit, “My Land/Patti Smith and Other Things, Photographs by Judy Linn,” which is currently on view through Friday, February 28 at the Esther Massry Gallery at the College of Saint Rose in Albany.

In conjunction with Albany’s First Friday (February 7), the gallery will host Linn for a book-signing (4:30-5pm) and art reception (5-7pm), followed by an artist lecture at 7pm across the street at the College of Saint Rose’s Saint Joseph Auditorium. These events are free and open to the public.

Q: Your exhibition presents two distinctive bodies of work: Detroit suburban life in the early 1970s and Patti Smith and friends honing their identities in New York City. Can you talk about these experiences?

A: The Detroit suite of prints comes out of a time when I was working for The Detroit Area Weekly News, a shopper. It was the summer of 1972 and the locations were the first ring of white suburbs around Detroit City including Roseville, St. Clair Shores, Grosse Point, Warren, Fraser and East Detroit. By the winter of 1973, I became bored with the job, too many handshakes and checks being passed, and returned to New York City. But I always knew I had something.


LIVE: Willie Nile @ LarkFest, 9/21/13

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
Willie Nile (photo by Richard Brody)

Willie Nile (photo by Richard Brody)

Review and photographs by Richard Brody
Additional photographs by Bryan Lasky

The day-long musical fireworks on Lark Street needed a grand finale, and who better than Willie Nile and his superb band to supply that at LarkFest’s Madison Avenue stage? The crowd was pumped from the opening salvo: “This Is Our Time,” with lyrics, “Can you feel the power, can you feel the drive, can you feel the feeling that it’s good to be alive?” Support came steady from the tight rhythm section of Johnny Pisano on bass and Alex Alexander on drums and Matt Hogan’s slamming lead guitar; band and crowd became one, and the party kicked into an even higher gear.

The set featured a number of songs from Nile’s recent album, American Ride, including “Life On Bleecker Street” about his adopted NYC home and specifically the street on which his career began some 40 years ago. Willie being Willie, this was not a nostalgic trip back home, but rather a humorous and somewhat cynical view of hipsters, stars, wannabees and tourists who all see Bleecker Street as the destination.


LIVE: The New Music Festival @ Empire State Plaza, 9/713

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013
Mayer Hawthorne (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Mayer Hawthorne (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Photographs by Stanley Johnson
Additional photographs by Richard Brody

Granted, the name “New Music Festival” sounds more than a bit generic, but it’s certainly a better moniker for the end-of-summer bash than the previous “Local Legends Live.” Especially considering that this year only two of the five bands on the bill – twang-timin’ guitarslinger Graham Tichy and the garage-rockin’ Mysteios – hail from the Local 518.


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