Posts Tagged ‘The Van Dyck’

LIVE: The Van Dyck Allstars Sax Summit @ the Van Dyck, 5/15/15

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015
Adam Siegel, Keith Pray and Lee Russo

Adam Siegel, Keith Pray and Lee Russo

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu

During the introduction to his arrangement of Mark Turner’s “Myron’s World”, Adam Siegel shared about how happy was to be playing with people that had inspired him for so many years. I know how Siegel feels: When I first started writing about jazz in Greater Nippertown, the five young “all-stars” at the front of the Van Dyck’s stage – tenormen Brian Patneaude and Lee Russo, altoists Siegel and Keith Pray and baritone saxman Jeff Nania – were either just starting to make inroads on the scene or were nowhere to be seen at all. Being able to witness their respective creative accomplishments over the last 10 years has been like watching your kids grow into adulthood – and these were “the kids” when I started out. Now they’re the heavyweights, and they played like champions on this night.

Patneaude’s charts for “Dear John” were tight as Jeff “Siege” Siegel’s drums as the octet launched the first set with the hard-bopping Freddie Hubbard composition. Russo’s primary ax is alto sax, which might explain why he started so high on his opening solo, but he would find the tenor’s full range as the night went on; Nania was also away from his usual tool, but he played that bari like he’d been weaned on tapes of Gary Smulyan, offering lines with both power and shape; Of course, tenor sax is Patneaude’s home and hearth, and he had the tune right in his sights as he charged through the piece’s final solo. Dave Gleason’s comping piano chords rose and rose while bassist Otto Gardner ignored his lack of amplification and attacked the piece the only way he knows how – flat out.

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FIVE FIRSTS: The Van Dyck All-Star Sax Summit

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015
The Sax Summit

The Sax Summit

It’s gonna be one seriously wailin’ night at 8pm Friday (May 15) when the Van Dyck All-Star Sax Summit takes over Schenectady’s venerable Van Dyck. Five of Nippertown’s top saxophonists – Keith Pray, Lee Russo, Brian Patneaude, Jeff Nania and Adam Siegel – will gather together on the same stage to blow the roof off the place, accompanied by pianist Dave Gleason, bassist Otto Gardner and drummer Jeff Siegel. Tickets are $15.

Nippertown’s J Hunter managed to corner four of the five saxmen (Adam Siegel was apparently too elusive) to ask them a few questions about their relationships with jazz, the saxophone and the Van Dyck. Here’s what he found out:

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LIVE: Nellie McKay @ the Van Dyck, 4/4/15 (Second Show)

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

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Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

It is difficult to pigeonhole the music of Nellie McKay, who entertained – and I truly mean entertained – a close-to-sold-out audience in the second of her two shows at the Van Dyck in Schenectady on Saturday night.

Accompanied by bass player Alexi David and drummer Kenneth Salters, McKay mesmerized the audience with the most eclectic set of music I have yet to hear. Somehow, she weaved standards from the ’30s along with her originals and covers of songs from the ’60s British Invasion that perhaps us baby boomers consider standards. Her spirited delivery made it all make sense.

Her set list featured standards such as:

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LIVE: Nellie McKay @ the Van Dyck, 4/4/15 (First Show)

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Nellie McKay

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Rudy Lu

For the first of her two shows on a recent Saturday evening, Nellie McKay descended the stairs at the Van Dyck, sat down at the keyboard and launched into a sparkling instrumental jazz-trio version of the old standard “Pennies from Heaven,” which morphed into “On the Sunny Side of the Street.” And for a moment, it felt as though we were transported back in time to the days of the venerable old Schenectady jazz club when folks like Dave McKenna and Marian McPartland would frequently tickle the ivories.

But just for a moment…

Seamlessly, the medley of jazz standards shifted into McKay’s “Toto Dies,” and she sang, “Hey man what’s happenin’ with you?/I watched that episode too/Maybe I’ll get some Chinese/I’ll have the dumplings/No MSG please…” From there, all bets were off. Backed by drummer Kenneth Salters and the sometimes too-busy basswork of Alexi David, McKay roamed through an almost impossibly vast songbook that stretched from jazz greats Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald to the folk duo of Richard & Mimi Farina to the lightweight British Invasion pop band Herman’s Hermits.

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LIVE: The Levin Brothers @ the Van Dyck, 3/20/15

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015
The Levin Brothers

The Levin Brothers

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

The Levin Brothers are no strangers if you are an avid reader of album liner notes and tour brochures. Both of them have been very active first-call studio and touring band musicians since the ’70s.

Although probably best known as the bassist and Chapman Stickman for prog rock pioneers King Crimson and Peter Gabriel, Tony Levin has a vast discography that includes recording with everyone from John Lennon to Karen Carpenter, from David Bowie to Tom Waits, from Alice Cooper to the Bulgarian Women’s Choir.

Older brother Peter Levin’s resume is just as deep and diverse, stretching from Judy Collins to Bryan Ferry, from Salt ‘N Pepa to Miles Davis, from Annie Lennox to Gov’t Mule. He joined his brother on tour with Paul Simon in the ’80s and was originally a French horn player with the Gil Evans Orchestra before switching to keyboards.

In support of their long-overdue debut collaborative album, they are now touring as the Levin Brothers in jazz-based project inspired by the music that inspired them during their youth to pursue careers in music – the cool jazz of Oscar Pettiford and Julius Watkins. And that’s what recently brought them up to the Van Dyck in Schenectady from their Woodstock area homes.

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LIVE: Robbie Dupree & the Woodstock Allstars @ the Van Dyck, 2/20/15

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Robbie Dupree

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

On a cold winter’s night singer-songwriter Robbie Dupree rolled into town to take the stage at the Van Dyck with his Woodstock Allstars. Dupree is best remembered for his two Top 10 singles, “Steal Away” and “Hot Rod Hearts,” which earned him a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 1980. He had lesser hits in following years with “Brooklyn Girls” and, for those older World Wrestling Federation fans, “Girls in Cars.”

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LIVE: Bria Skonberg @ the Van Dyck, 7/25/14

Friday, August 1st, 2014
Bria Skonberg

Bria Skonberg

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

Dixieland jazz in the 21st century. Bria Skonberg and her quartet showed us an updated version of this revered form during their performance at the Van Dyck in Schenectady last weekend.

Hailing originally from Chilliwack, British Columbia and now headquartered in Brooklyn, trumpeter-vocalist Skonberg led her quartet through an hour-and-a-half set of standards, covers of late ’60s classics and original tunes.

After opening with Harold Arlen’s “Get Happy,” she followed with “Comes Love,” a tune associated with Billie Holiday, and Skonberg established herself as strongly within the jazz tradition. She followed with Joni Mitchell’s “ Big Yellow Taxi” (with scat-like singing of many of the lyrics) and John Lennon’s homage to his mother, “Julia.” “Six More Weeks” was a sultry original featuring Skonberg on vocals.

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Patti Cathcart, What Was the First Album You Ever Bought?

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Patti Cathcart

Patti Cathcart


“‘The One Little Duck with the Feather On His Back,’ but I was probably only about five years old. I didn’t actually go out and buy it myself, but I heard it at my cousin’s house, and I just had to have it.

“It was a red record, and it had little ducks on the label. I used to have a little baby record player, and I’d put the record on and then there was a mirrored-glass kind of merry-go-round thing that I would put on top of it.

“It must have been a 78. I don’t think they had 45s back then, did they?”

Patti Cathcart steps up to the microphone as one-half of the husband-and-wife jazz duo Tuck & Patti at the Van Dyck in Schenectady at 8pm on Thursday (June 5). Tickets are $18 in advance; $22 at the door.

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