Review and photographs by Rudy Lu
The Piano Jazz Queen of Greater Nippertown, Lee Shaw was a mentor and inspiration to so many jazz musicians throughout the Local 518. Joe Barna was one of them. Her recent death inspired the drummer to compose a six-part suite dedicated to her memory.
Last month, Barna slipped behind his drum kit to offer the premiere performance of “Suite Lee” at Lucas Confectionery in Troy with his band Sketches of Influence, featuring pianist Dave Solazzo, alto saxman Adam Siegel, bassist Dylan Perrillo and guitarist Mark Kleinhaut.
Barna penned five of the suite’s six songs in the suite during the week following Shaw’s death on October 25 at age 89. The other composition, “Ivory Romance,” was recorded six years ago and originally released on Barna’s 2011 CD, Blow It Out.
The compositions spanned the wide range of jazz styles that Lee had total command of in her repertoire: