Posts Tagged ‘Rudy Lu’

LIVE: Roger Noyes @ Albany Public Library, 2/25/15

Monday, March 2nd, 2015
Roger Noyes

Roger Noyes

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

At the Albany Public Library, Ralph Ellison’s classic 1952 novel “Invisible Man” was brought to life through readings of the novel and original music inspired by the novel by composer-guitarist Roger Noyes and his band.

The library’s program Reading Music showcases new, original music inspired by great works of literature. In previous installments, M.R. Poulopoulos tackled the works of William Kennedy and Michael Eck and Matt Durfee wrote songs in the spirit of John Steinbeck’s “East of Eden,” but this was the first Reading Music program to feature jazz and a full band.

In addition to playing the Fats Waller composition, “Black and Blue,” which is seminal to the novel, Noyes & Co. also played three original compositions inspired by passages in the novel.

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LIVE: Cyrille Aimee @ The Egg, 2/13/15

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015
Cyrille Aimee

Cyrille Aimee

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu

I tend to stay away if an artist that’s played Greater Nippertown recently makes a return appearance, if only so one of my colleagues can get a crack at seeing what I’ve seen. I was more than happy to break that rule for Cyrille Aimee’s show at The Egg last weekend, and for two reasons: I wanted to experience the divine intimacy her music creates in a space like The Egg’s Swyer Theatre, and I wanted to see if the riveting performance the vivacious French vocalist served up last fall at Lake George’s Jazz at the Lake festival was a fluke. My results: The intimacy was huge (yes, I know that’s a contradiction), and of the many things Cyrille Aimee is, a fluke is not one of them.

Outside of NYC’s Smalls Jazz Club (where she recorded her fourth CD), the Swyer may be the perfect place to see Aimee, and that became profoundly evident before she’d finished the first verse of her opener “Little White Lies.” Flanked by guitarists Adrien Moignard and Michael Valeanu, Aimee served up the mildly apologetic lyric with a purring alto and a coquettish smile as the piece got just enough push by bassist Sam Anning and drummer Rajiv Jayaweera. The smile turned into a full-blown grin as Moignard’s fingers flew over the fretboard of his acoustic guitar, ginning up the Django Reinhardt vibe that runs through all of Aimee’s recordings. Aimee bop-danced in place as Valeanu’s restrained hollow-body electric sound provided perfect counterpoint for Moignard. Moignard would return that favor more than a few times during the two-set performance.

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LIVE: Jim Weider’s Blue Chicken @ the Falcon, 1/17/15

Thursday, January 29th, 2015
Jim Weider

Jim Weider

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

Billed as a “Roots Rock Gumbo of All-Star Musicians Playing Their Out-of-the-Coop One-Stop Reunion Tour,” Blue Chicken showed what rock and roll is all about – just plain fun.

This band is one of many projects that former Band guitarist Jim Weider is involved in. Onstage at the Falcon in Marlboro, he shared the stage with journeyman guitarist Sid McGinnis (best known as the guitarist on “The Late Show With David Letterman.” They represented a true contrast in styles both in playing and stage presence. Weider preferring to just stand and play complex leads and slide work. He let his guitar speak for him. In contrast, McGinnis played snarling lines and power chords to his bandmates, also adding plenty of visual drama to the performance.

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LIVE: The Peter Bernstein Trio @ the Falcon, 1/9/15

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

The Peter Bernstein Trio with Brad Mehldau

Photographs by Rudy Lu

Ace guitarist Peter Bernstein and his all-star trio – featuring Doug Weiss on bass and Billy Drummond on drums – were joined by special guest virtuoso pianist Brad Mehldau earlier this month as they explored two sets of jazz standards, contemporary songs and originals before a packed audience at the Falcon in Marlboro.

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LIVE: Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence @ Sanctuary for Independent Media, 12/6/14

Monday, December 15th, 2014
Transcendence

Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu, Andrzej Pilarczyk

Environment is important, and the environment for Jaimeo Brown’s appearance at the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy was certainly different from that blazing-hot June day at SPAC when his group Transcendence knocked everyone’s socks off at the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival Gazebo stage. On the plus side, this show was inside the Sanctuary’s cozy confines, so there was no danger of losing any of the power these three tremendous young musicians are able to harness; on the minus, it was cold and wet and trying to snow, which usually tends to pick off the more weather-averse concert-goer. Whether it was the viral marketing that went with this show or just the memory of the wild ride Transcendence took us on that summer, the place was almost packed at showtime.

It was great to hear emcee/booker Susan Brink confirm my recollection about how entranced the crowd had been at the Gazebo. “The entire audience was as one,” she told us during her glowing introduction. After Brown, altoist Jaleel Shaw and guitarist-loopmaster Chris Sholar had come on stage, Brown split time between thanking us profusely for braving the weather and explaining about how this music “celebrates community,” and how at its root is the Gee’s Bend, Alabama community where the field recordings that inspired Brown were created. “This music is homegrown,” he added. “And you are part of our community now!”

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LIVE: Michael Benedict & Bopitude @ the Bridge Street Theatre, 11/22/14

Thursday, December 4th, 2014
Michael Benedict

Michael Benedict

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

Michael Benedict’s Bopitude – whose mission is to expose the public to the hard bop style of jazz that dominated the late ’50s and early ’60s – expanded their audience and reach with their debut at the new Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill, a former factory that is still under renovation. The concert was held in the Speakeasy, which will eventually become the lobby of the main performance space when renovations are completed.

It proved to be an intimate space that was absolutely appropriate for the music. The full house was treated to a rousing performance of the music of the underrated trumpeter Kenny Dorham, well-known and respected as a sideman of Max Roach, Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins and Thelonious Monk, in addition to leading his own bands. Perhaps he was known best for his partnership with the late saxophonist Joe Henderson.

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LIVE: Dialogue @ Sanctuary for Independent Media, 11/16/14

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
(photo by Rudy Lu)

(photo by Rudy Lu)

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu, Bender Melon

Okay, first, let’s posit that duet concerts are not like other concerts. You’ve got two people doing the work of four or five, in addition to getting their music across to the crowd. That it takes accomplished players to make it work goes without saying, but it goes farther than that: There needs to be a shared language, an understanding that tells one another who’s got the lead, who’s got the foundation, when things start and when things finish, and whose solo is it, anyway? It sounds complicated, but I’ve seen a bunch of duet shows, and the arrangement is pretty standard usually.

Pianist Myra Melford and clarinetist Ben Goldberg of Dialogue are decidedly not “usual.” You’re dealing with two accomplished musicians who think 10 steps ahead of most folks at any one time, and whose respective discographies include enough square pegs to make every round hole wave the white flag. The Box doesn’t even enter into the equation, let alone thinking outside of it. What happens when Melford and Goldberg get together is mercurial, to say the least, and the near-full house at the Sanctuary for Independent Media saw that in no uncertain terms. But again, it was more than just two extraordinary players having a musical conversation; it was two people conversing in a completely unique language that was incredibly beautiful, utterly impenetrable, and wholly beyond the “standard” set by many others.

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LIVE: Upstate @ the Falcon, 11/24/14

Monday, December 1st, 2014
Rebecca Martin and Paul Grenadier

Rebecca Martin and Larry Grenadier

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

Upstate – a new trio composed of a singer-songwriter and two veteran jazz musicians – is in the middle of a month-and-a-half-long Monday night residency at the Falcon in Marlboro.

The band features Argentinean composer-pianist Guillermo Klein, singer-songwriter Rebecca Martin and virtuoso bassist Larry Grenadier, backed by journeyman drummer Lee Falco. Joining them last week as special guest was Portuguese vocalist Sara Serpa.

As would be expected, the resulting music defied easy categorization. The sometimes dissonant and unusual harmonies brought to mind such words as atmospheric, ethereal, spiritual, airy, other-worldly and timeless.

Included in the evening’s set list were compositions by Brad Mehldau and Kurt Rosenwinkel, as well as originals by the bandmembers.

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