Posts Tagged ‘Rudy Lu’

LIVE: A Celebration of the Life & Legacy of Pete Seeger @ The Falcon, 2/22/14

Monday, February 24th, 2014
Bethany Yarrow and Happy Traum

Bethany Yarrow and Happy Traum

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

The little Hudson Valley hamlet of Marlboro doubled in size last Saturday night (February 22), when the Falcon hosted “A Celebration of the Life & Legacy of Pete Seeger.” Performers and audience from near and far flocked to “the Village Vanguard” of the Hudson Valley to celebrate Pete Seeger’s life in song and joy. People parked as far away as a half mile away for the event.

Pete was there in spirit and voice. Recordings of Pete telling stories of his life and family – as recorded by producer/musician Jeff Haynes – were played in between songs.



LIVE: The Bad Plus @ The Egg, 2/8/14

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
The Bad Plus (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

The Bad Plus (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu, Andrzej Pilarczyk, Bender Mellon

It had been three years since I’d seen the Bad Plus, and the previous circumstances were not conducive to a satisfying listening experience: They were in the middle of the Main Stage bill at Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, and SPAC’s amphitheater eats piano trios like I eat Brown Bag burgers – quickly, completely and with gusto. The fact is, TBP needs a small space and a dedicated audience to do that insane voodoo they’ve been doing for over a decade. In The Egg’s Swyer Theatre, they had both.

Most bands go for your throat right from the jump in concert, regardless of their genre. Maybe TBP chose bassist Reid Anderson’s slow, somber “Pound for Pound” as an opener because they knew the evening would get weird and wild later on, and they wanted to pace both themselves and the almost-full house. Either way, Dave King’s drumbeat was both martial and funereal as Ethan Iverson’s piano chords stayed sparse as he helped his partners build the foundation. Only the piece’s off-time meter separated this tune from any other memorial.

The mournful tone sort of remained the same, but bit-by-bit, the piece got wider and more colorful as all three players started adding more ingredients one by one – a riff here, a trill there. Iverson finally started a solo (of a kind), which King automatically countered. In normal jazz terms, that usually means both players were going off the hook… but then again, the Bad Plus are not a normal jazz outfit. Iverson’s always been a site-specific noisemaker, and “Pound” didn’t call for any major pyrotechnics. And while King’s pom-pommed white wool hat and grey slackerwear helped make him look like the madman drummer we all know and love, he wasn’t ready to blow up real good just yet. The piece never lost its unpredictability, but compared with what was to come, “Pound” was a pretty soft opener.


LIVE: Popa Chubby & Friends @ the Falcon, 2/10/14

Monday, February 17th, 2014
Poppa Chubby

Popa Chubby

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

Popa Chubby & Friends brought an eclectic mixture of blues, New Orleans rock n’ roll and the classic rock of Beatles, Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix to the Falcon to kick off their month-long Monday night residency in Marlboro.

While Popa Chubby’s lead guitar led the attack, his bandmates certainly lived up to the challenge, including the versatile jazz drummer Adam Nussbaum, veteran blues keyboard player Dave Keyes and the young Sam Smith anchoring the band on bass.


LIVE: The Bopitude Drum Battle @ The Egg, 2/1/14

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
Yep. That's a lot of drums.

Yep. That’s a lot of drums.

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

The Greater Nippertown area indeed has been blessed with a wealth of talented musicians. And a goodly number of them were certainly displayed on Saturday, February 1, when Michael Benedict hosted a quartet of guest drummer-percussionists backed by his band Bopitude in concert at The Egg in Albany.

Modeled after the famous jazz drum battles in the 1950s and ’60s at Birdland, the concert featured Mark Foster, Pete Sweeney and Bob Halek on trap drum kits, as well as percussionist Brian Melick.


LIVE: Betty & the Baby Boomers @ the Eighth Step at Proctors, 2/1/14

Thursday, February 6th, 2014
Betty and the Boomers

Betty and the Boomers

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

Betty & the Baby Boomers, stalwarts of the Hudson Valley Folk Scene, once again brought their beautiful voices and harmonies to the Eighth Step at Proctors in Schenectady to kick off the February concert calendar.

This visit was especially poignant as the four original members of the group – Paul Rubeo, Jean Valla-McAvoy, Betty Boomer and Steve Stanne – are closely associated with the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater Inc., a special project founded by late Pete Seeger dedicated to cleaning up the Hudson River.


LIVE: Tootie’s Tempo @ the Falcon, 1/28/14

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014
Albert "Tootie" Heath

Albert “Tootie” Heath

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

Veteran hard-bop drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath recently led a dynamic trio – which also featured Ethan Iverson on piano and Ben Street on bass – through two light-hearted sets of standards at the Falcon in Marlboro.

Iverson and Street are veterans of the scene in their own right. Iverson is the bandleader of the well known iconoclastic trio the Bad Plus, while Ben Street best known for his work with such A-list jazzers as Billy Hart, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Mark Turner.


LIVE: The Clash of the Titans @ Flights of Fantasy, 1/12/14

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
Ralph Lalama Otto Gardner and Jerry Weldon

Ralph Lalama, Otto Gardner and Jerry Weldon

Story and photographs by Rudy Lu

Flights of Fantasy Books & Games store in Colonie – Nippertown’s most unlikely and unusual jazz venue – played host to the “Clash of the Titans” concert last weekend. The A-list tenor saxophone tandem of Ralph Lalama and Jerry Weldon led a trumpet-less front end backed by a stellar Local 518 trio featuring Joe Barna on drums, Otto Gardner on bass and Dave Solazzo on keyboards.


LIVE: The Wooten Brothers @ The Egg, 12/15/13

Thursday, December 19th, 2013
Victor Wooten

Victor Wooten

Review and Photos by Rudy Lu

The Wooten Brothers’ concert at The Egg last Sunday evening can be summed up in two phrases. 1) The family that plays together, stays together 2) Variety show.

The mega-talented Wooten clan rocked The Egg and kept the audience entertained with everything from funky originals to R&B with smatterings of classical to Led Zeppelin covers during their roughly two-hour, non-stop show.

Opening with a Sly Stone medley, then slowing it down with a ballad and then the original “Pentagon Square” (featuring quotations from “Carole of the Bells”), the Brothers showed their talent and versatility by consistently changing up the pace and rhythm of the show.

Many of the originals were R&B ballads penned by keyboardist Joseph Wooten (of the Steve Miller Band), including the ballad “Make Me Like a Child,” composed in memory of their late brother Rudy, a saxophonist in the band who passed away in 2010.


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