Posts Tagged ‘Rudy Lu’

LIVE: Eileen Ivers @ Proctors, 7/13/14

Friday, July 18th, 2014
Eileen Ivers

Eileen Ivers

Photographs by Stanley Johnson and Rudy Lu

Fab Celtic fiddler Eileen Ivers has been a longtime favorite with Nippertown audiences, having played at such concert venues as the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and The Egg. So it was no surprise that a large crowd came out to see her play a free show, despite the fact that rain forced the concert to move from Central Park’s Music Haven to indoors at Proctors’ Main Stage.

While Ivers and her crack band – percussionist Tommy McDonnell, accordionist Buddy Connolly, guitarist Greg Anderson and bassist Lindsey Horner – certainly are rooted in Irish music, they also know how to hybridize with a deft touch (the Afro-Celtic mash-up “Paddy in Zululand”) and stretch out far beyond the Celtic music genre altogether, like their encore of the Allman Brothers Band’s “People Can You Feel It (Love Is In the Air).”

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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.

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LIVE: Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival @ Croton Point Park, 6/21&22/14

Monday, July 7th, 2014
Bette Lavette

Bettye LaVette

Story and Photographs by Rudy Lu

The Hudson Valley echoed again with the joyful sounds of music on June 21-22 as the 36th annual Clearwater Great Hudson River Revival Festival was held at Croton Point Park.

The two days of music filled the five main stages, as well as multiple additional performing areas.

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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.

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LIVE: Bill Payne & Friends @ the Falcon, 5/16/14

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
Bill Payne

Bill Payne

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

It was a blending of the old and the new at the Falcon in Marlboro last Friday night. Veteran keyboard player Bill Payne (of Little Feat fame) played with the Connor Kennedy Band. These are the Young Turks of the talent-rich Hudson Valley music scene. Featured in their set were Bill Payne’s recent songwriting collaborations with former Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, as well some of the classic music of Little Feat.

Providing a rock-solid bottom was the rhythm section of Lee Falco on drums and Brandon Morrison on bass. Connor Kennedy played lead guitar, while Will Bryant played a second set of keyboards. The husband/wife team of Andy & Tania Stack – known as the Stacks – opened and sat in for most of Payne’s set. This made for a full, rich sound for the show and a generous exchange of musical ideas.

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LIVE: Kendra Shank & John Stowell @ Professor Java’s Coffee Sanctuary, 5/9/14

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Kendra Shank and John Stowell

Photographs by Rudy Lu

Kendra Shank and John Stowell have it right: Some of the best shows are when the size of the crowd allows the intimacy level to rise – not just between the crowd and the performers, but also between the performers themselves. It stops being a concert and becomes a bunch of friends hanging out. That’s what happened when the NYC vocalist and the Portland, OR guitarist performed selections from their new TCB release New York Conversations last Friday night (May 9) at Professor Java’s Coffee Sanctuary in Albany.

It was the last night of the duo’s East Coast/West Coast tour, and the expansion and exploration that the two old friends have conducted was in full view as they mixed elegant originals and eye-crossing improvisations with great takes on everything from Rodgers and Hart’s “Blue Skies” to Monk’s iconic “Blue Monk.” The bare-bones configuration had both musicians stretching their talents to the fullest, and Shank knocked the audience out with her burgeoning prowess on a “looping station” that allowed Shank to morph her voice into a vocal armada.

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LIVE: “Pete Seeger: The Storm King” @ the Towne Crier Café, 5/4/14

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Pete Seeger: The Storm King

There were many celebrations for what would have been Pete Seeger’s 95th birthday throughout the country last weekend. But one of the most unique celebrations of Pete’s life was held last Sunday night (May 4) at the Towne Crier Café in his hometown of Beacon.

Producer and noted percussionist Jeff Haynes masterminded a multimedia celebration of Pete’s life and times. Haynes’ roots are not in the folk tradition; rather, his musical background is in jazz, and he has played and toured with the likes of Pat Metheny, Cassandra Wilson, Al Jarreau and Lizz Wright and Peabo Bryson.

Haynes used his interpretation skills both as a musician and as a producer/engineer to blend a wide variety of musical styles on the Grammy nominated CD, Pete Seeger: The Storm King, which featured Pete telling stories of his life and times accompanied by musicians of many genres and a revolving slide show of Pete and his wife Toshi’s life.

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LIVE: Chick Corea @ College of St. Rose’s, Massry Center, 4/11/14

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Chick Corea

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Rudy Lu and Andrzej Pilarczyk

I haven’t heard it on any of WNYT-TV’s evening news reports yet, but the folks at News Channel 13 got quite an unexpected gift when jazz great Chick Corea composed a theme song for them during his recent concert at the College of Saint Rose’s Massry Center for the Arts in Albany.

It was everything that a good television news theme should be – catchy, full of energy and urgency, engaging and yet all business. And Corea didn’t even realize what he was doing…

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