LIVE: Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez @ Shepard Park, 8/28/13 (Extended Version)

September 16th, 2013, 1:00 pm by Greg

Review by Denise Borden
Video by Joel Patterson

On Christine Ohlman’s latest album, The Deep End, she teamed up with Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Dion DiMucci to record a version of “Cry Baby Cry,” a song originally recorded by Van & Titus back in 1968.

When Ohlman and her band Rebel Montez made their Caffe Lena debut in Saratoga Springs in April, George Brantley (aka Van of Van & Titus) drove up from Knoxville, Tennessee to meet Christine and hear her perform his song for the first time. It was a great night at the sold-out Caffe. During that evening, Brantley was also introduced to artist Joseph Simone – a former friend of Lena Spencer and former resident of Saratoga Springs – who currently lives in Virginia Beach. Joseph was so taken by Brantley and his story that he offered to do an original oil painting of him, and he did so from a photograph taken of Brantley standing in front of Caffe Lena…

Fast forward to Wednesday, August 28, the evening of Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez’s Lake George Arts Project concert in Lake George’s Shepard Park… Ohlman graciously offered to have Simone present the newly finished portrait of George Brantley to during her show. Caffe Lena’s Sarah Craig and Stanley McGaughey were on hand to introduce Brantley and Simone for the presentation.

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Five Firsts: Dave Liebman of the Dave Liebman Big Band

September 13th, 2013, 10:00 am by Greg

NAME: Dave Liebman
BAND AFFILIATION: The Dave Liebman Big Band
INSTRUMENT: soprano sax

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … not sure of THE first, but something like “Herbie Mann at the Village Gate”

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … at Birdland Xmas week of 1961, the Count Basie Big Band and Gerry Mulligan Nonet

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Five Firsts: Joel Harrison of the Joel Harrison/Anupam Shobhakar Quintet

September 12th, 2013, 2:00 pm by Greg
Joel Harrison

Joel Harrison

NAME: Joel Harrison

BAND AFFILIATION: Joel Harrison/Anupam Shobhakar Quintet

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WASRubber Soul, the Beatles

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … The Supremes and “Little” Stevie Wonder

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A Few Minutes With… Michele Rosewoman

September 11th, 2013, 2:00 pm by Greg

Interview and story by J Hunter

It’s not a rare thing to live your dream. Depending on the dream and the person dreaming it, it happens every day. But how many people get to live that dream for three decades – and then get the chance to share that dream with the rest of the world?

Pianist Michele Rosewoman had a dream: To build a band big enough and talented enough to present Cuban music in a way that truly exposed its roots – both spiritual and international. That band was New Yor-Uba, and it’s been doing the job for 30 beautiful years. The group has toured the world, so it’s not just New Yorkers who’ve had the pleasure of seeing Rosewoman’s creation. But now, thanks to (one more) successful Kickstarter campaign New Yor-Uba gets to find the people who couldn’t make it to the shows with her new double-CD 30 Years: A Celebration of Cuba in America.

Alumni of New Yor-Uba include jazz stalwarts like Rufus Reid and John Stubblefield. And you might know some of the names in the current 12-piece unit; in the case of multi-instrumentalist Howard Johnson and conguero Pedrito Martinez, you might have seen them play somewhere in Greater Nippertown. But even if you knew none of the names and knew nothing about Cuban music, the light, the fire, the beauty and the spirituality that radiates from each piece on the two-disc set would still touch your heart and soul.

30 Years was released on Tuesday (September 10), and the big “drop party” to celebrate the double-disc just happens in the middle of Jazz at the Lake 2013’s Saturday afternoon show (September 14) at Lake George’s Shepard Park. Rosewoman took time out from preparing for that show to answer a few questions for Nippertown:

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Festival Fever: Jazz at the Lake @ Shepard Park, Lake George

September 9th, 2013, 12:00 pm by Greg
The Brian Patneaude Quartet

The Brian Patneaude Quartet

Story by J Hunter
Photograph by Rudy Lu

JAZZ 2K Extra: Jazz at the Lake Celebrates its 30th Anniversary!

I’ve called the Lake George Art Project’s annual jazz weekend at Shepard Park “The Happiest Place on Earth,” and there isn’t a single drop of irony or sarcasm in that statement – which, if you know me at all, is quite unusual. In many ways, “Jazz at the Lake” is (for me, anyway) the perfect festival. Yeah, I know, I could paint cathedral ceilings with that reach, but hear me out before you call the guys in the white coats.

No other festival offers the same mix of intimacy and integrity – the latter ingredient being an outgrowth of the uncompromising, quality-over-quantity booking policy of JATL curator Paul Pines. There are no wannabes, no time-wasters, and (most importantly) no crossover acts whose only reason for existing is to bump up the gate. That doesn’t mean JATL displays the sort of musical and political “purity” required by hardcore jazz Old Schoolers. Every aspect of the global brilliance that fuels this genre has been displayed on Shepard Park’s arts-and-crafts-style stage in recent years: The straight-ahead goodness of Delfeayo Marsalis and Warren Wolf; the sultry Latin spice of Emilio Solla and David Sanchez; the party-hearty righteousness of Donald Harrison Jr. and Dave Valentin; and the genre-busting madness of John Ellis & Double-Wide and Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra.

In an age where jazz festivals have become “all about ‘The Hang,’” Jazz At The Lake stands up pretty well. No, there’s no big back lawn where people graze on buffets inside massive tents and only think about the festival occasionally. However, there’s nothing to complain about sitting under tall, full trees and listening to weapons-grade music while looking out at the beauty that is Lake George on the cusp of Fall. Throw in the fact that it’s put on for free, and the case for perfection is pretty damn hard to refute. Jazz At The Lake has been doing it right for 30 years, and here’s how they’re doing it this weekend:

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LIVE: Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez @ Shepard Park, 8/28/13

September 5th, 2013, 1:00 pm by Greg

Review and video by Joel Patterson

Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez (this incarnation: Chris Bickley, Larry Donahue and Michael Colbath) have a modest request: they want to be YOUR favorite Nippertown soul/blues/r&b band, and they laid out their credentials at the final concert of the Lake George Arts summer concert season in Shepard Park last Wednesday night.

Under balmy skies sparking with flares of heat lightning, they tore into a healthy selection of Christine’s lovely, dark and deep originals along with powerful covers of a few classics. Christine wants to convince you she’s a tough cookie, but lurking barely below the surface is a vulnerable, sensitive romantic, ablaze with the idea that love, in all its confounding, dizzying contortions, can really conquer all.

Real Good for FREE: Lake George Arts Project’s Summer Concerts

July 1st, 2013, 12:00 pm by Greg
July 3: Paul Cebar & Tomorrow Sound

July 3: Paul Cebar & Tomorrow Sound

On the scenic shore at America’s Vacationland, the annual Lake George Arts Project’s Summer Concerts will once again take place from July through August at 7:30pm on Wednesday evenings in Shepard Park in Lake George.

Here’s the 2013 Summer concert schedule:

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Real Good for FREE: Fridays at the Lake @ Lake George’s Shepard Park

June 25th, 2013, 12:04 pm by Greg
June 29: Aqueous

June 28: Aqueous

While several of Nippertown’s regular summer concert series have been discontinued this summer, Improv Records is once again hosting the Fridays at the Lake concert series at Shepard Park in Lake George – and for their fourth annual season they’ve expanded their performance calendar to include a couple of Saturday night shows, as well.

All concerts start at 8pm, and admission is, of course, free.

Here’s the 2013 schedule of concerts:

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