Posts Tagged ‘The Van Dyck’

LIVE: Howard Alden All-Star Trio @ the Van Dyck, 3/22/2014 [Albany Jazz]

Monday, April 21st, 2014
Jon Burr and Howard Alden

Jon Burr and Howard Alden (photo: Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Those that came for the 7pm full-house show of the Howard Alden All-Star Trio performing at the Van Dyck in Schenectady that Saturday night in March probably had a great time, but those 14 who were there for the 9:30pm show had the show of their life. It was more intimate: it was grand, and it made you feel like these three legends were playing just for you in the middle of your living room.

It doesn’t get any better then that!

Bassist Jon Burr, a ten-year veteran of Stephane Grappelli’s band, held down the bottom end while Howard Alden, one of the finest guitarists playing within the jazz idiom today, was pulling double-duty as both rhythm and lead on his instrument.

But the central focal point of the night was legendary trumpeter Warren Vache.

Click to read the rest at Albany Jazz.
Click to see more of Andrzej Pilarczyk’s photographs at Albany Jazz.

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LIVE: The Chronicles @ the Van Dyck, 3/21/14

Monday, March 31st, 2014
Bryan Brundige, Jeff-Nania and Justin Henricks

Bryan Brundige, Jeff-Nania and Justin Henricks

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu

Okay, let’s review what we “know.” We “know” that the Chronicles are the best party band in Greater Nippertown: Doesn’t matter what the critics say or what the Readers’ Poll says (unless, of course, they agree with what we “know”); it’s just a “fact.” The Chronicles’ last album – the hard-hitting vinyl/digital release Spanning the Gap – was produced by Alan Evans, the engine behind Soulive and its horn-intensive offshoot Lettuce. Put the Chronicles in a club like Red Square or the Hollow Bar + Kitchen and real estate on the dance floor disappears in a heartbeat. The funk is delicious, the horns are killer, and the beat is undeniable. That’s a party band, my friend, and don’t you forget it!

So why were the Chronicles playing the upstairs concert space at the Van Dyck? I mean, you can’t dance in front of the stage unless you’re really, really, really skinny! Besides, even though the McDonalds have booked many different types of bands since taking over the place a few years ago, the Van Dyck will be known as a jazz club now and forever, Bird without end, ay-men! Maybe trombonist/leader Bryan Brundige got cabin fever. Maybe he’s as addicted to the Van Dyck’s pulled pork sliders as I am. The reasons don’t matter, and what we “know” DEFINITELY doesn’t matter. The night was tremendous, and so was the band – THAT’S what matters!

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Warren Vaché, What Was the First Album You Ever Bought?

Friday, March 21st, 2014
Warren Vaché

Warren Vaché

“What was it? It was Miles Davis’ ‘For Lovers Only’ with the Red Garland Trio. And I bought it primarily because my old man told me that Miles Davis was no good.

So I went out and said, ‘Yes, he is. Listen to this.’ And the argument continues to this day.”

The Howard Alden Jazz All-Star Trio – featuring guitar phenom Howard Alden, trumpeter Warren Vaché | and bassist Jon Burr – slips into the Van Dyck in Schenectady on Saturday (March 22) for shows at 7 & 9:30pm. Tickets are $20 in advance; $24 at the door.

Five Firsts: Julien Labro of the Hot Club of Detroit

Thursday, November 7th, 2013
Julien Labro

Julien Labro

NAME: Julien Labro
BAND AFFILIATION: Hot Club of Detroit
INSTRUMENT: Accordion

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WASSpeak Like a Child (Herbie Hancock)

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LIVE: Rory Block @ the Van Dyck, 10/4/13

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Review by Bokonon

Rory Block wasn’t born with the blues, but she was raised with it. An unbelievable pantheon of greats strolled through the door of her father’s Greenwich Village sandal shop, and the young Aurora sat down at their feet, to learn, as cliché would have it, from the masters.

Did she meet Robert Johnson? No. But she did shake hands with Son House, Mississippi John Hurt, Rev. Gary Davis, Mississippi Fred McDowell and the wraith-like Skip James.

At the Van Dyck, Block turned that protean knowledge into a hellfire of blues. Maybe the real heart of Block’s sound is the way her socket wrench slide clicks against the frets. She’s not taking it easy.

The drone of an open tuning is an ancient moan that crosses many cultures. In Block’s world, it summons the Delta. Not the crossroads, butthe real sharecropper sound of bright, intelligent people forced to work with their backs. She may not fit the visual — still beautiful at 63, her long flowing hair touched with grey — but she channels the sound.

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LIVE: Bruce Barth/Steve Nelson Quartet @ the Van Dyck, 6/21/13

Monday, July 1st, 2013
The Bruce Barth/Steve Nelson Quartet

The Bruce Barth/Steve Nelson Quartet

Review by J Hunter
Photos by Rudy Lu

It was a meeting of two truisms: “Timing is everything” and “It’s not what you know – it’s who know!” Pianist Bruce Barth and vibes master Steve Nelson were set to play a duo show at the Rochester Jazz Festival the other weekend. Knowing they were going to be passing through the area, Greater Nippertown drummer/educator Michael Benedict got in touch with Barth and asked if the duo would like to warm up with a quartet gig at the Van Dyck. Phone calls were made, emails were exchanged, and before anybody knew it, every table in the club’s upstairs space was filled with people. That doesn’t happen on a Friday night in June, and the anticipation was palpable as we waited to see what this one-off group would do.

Mind you, this wasn’t completely a one-off group: Both Benedict and bassist Mike Lawrence have played and recorded with Barth in Benedict’s smokin’-hot outfit Bopitude, while Nelson was the primary foil on Barth’s 2012 Savant release Three Things of Beauty. The latter disc had a rhythm section of bassist Ben Street and drummer Dana Hall, neither of whom you’d see on a list entitled “Slouches.” To hear Barth tell it, though, he couldn’t have been happier with the place he was playing or the people backing him up. “Albany’s become like a second home to me,” he told us, gesturing towards Benedict, “thanks to this wonderful drummer…” Barth also called Lawrence “the nicest guy in jazz,” making sure we knew that “nice” applied to his playing abilities as well as his personality, and intimating that if Lawrence ever decided to roll the dice, he could make some serious noise on the New York City jazz scene.

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LIVE: Van Dyck All-Stars’ Saxophone Summit @ the Van Dyck, 4/19/13

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Van Dyck All-Stars’ Saxophone Summit @ the Van Dyck, 4/19/13

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Albert Brooks
A JazzApril story

“It’s great to see a room packed for jazz in Schenectady,” tenorman Brian Patneaude told the folks at the Van Dyck’s full-to-bursting concert space. I have to agree, but I’d like to amend that statement: It was great to see a room packed for LOCAL jazz in Schenectady! After all, most of these guys do get around the area, and three-quarters of the All-Stars’ front line play this same space every month when Keith Pray’s Big Soul Ensemble does its first-Tuesday residency thing. I’m sure a lot of it had to do with the respective fan bases the players have generated over the years. The thing is, though, the fan base for one band member included everybody else on the bandstand.

That man would be Leo Russo, who’s been playing sax in Greater Nippertown longer than I’ve lived here, and I’m working on my third decade. Not only is Russo living proof of the deep roots jazz has in these parts, but he’s also gifted us with a sapling that’s growing into a mighty oak himself – multi-instrumentalist Lee Russo, who (like Patneaude and altoist Keith Pray, the fourth member of the All-Stars’ kickass front line) I would be happy to watch play the phone book. Lee played baritone sax as well as tenor on this evening, adding another axe to his already sizeable arsenal; I’m convinced he’s going to be our Joe Lovano, mastering a myriad number of reed instruments most people never heard of. I’d only seen the elder Russo play twice before: Once with a pickup band at an Albany Musicians Union JAM celebration, and once with pianist Yuko Kishimoto at Athens Cultural Center. To see him with this group was a once-in-a-lifetime thing, so I was on it like a duck on a June bug.

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LIVE: Michael Benedict & Bopitude @ the Van Dyck, 3/30/13

Friday, April 5th, 2013
Michael Benedict & Bopitude @ the Van Dyck, 3/30/13 (photo by Rudy Lu)

Michael Benedict

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu
A JazzApril story

Given a choice, I’ll take new jazz over old jazz. To my mind, anything that moves the music forward should get all the love it can. But last Saturday night, I needed to get back to the basics, to the roots, and get a big juicy cleansing shot of the pure. For me, that’s hard bop, which added nice sharp teeth to a sub-genre that reflected this country’s energized post-World War II mentality. Thankfully, Michael Benedict & Bopitude are dedicated to not only showcasing this music, but also making it as electrifying as it was back in the day.

Besides my need to flush out the avant-garde rubbish that had clogged up my soul the night before, there were two other reasons for checking out Bopitude’s latest appearance. First, this group sounds big at festivals and concert halls; in a small venue like the Van Dyck’s upstairs concert space, they’re absolutely massive – and that was before they added the second reason for seeing this band: Baritone sax master Gary Smulyan, who’s got a sound that shakes whatever floor he’s standing on. Benedict’s sextet has a weapons-grade front line, and I had a front row seat. What’s more, when I came in off the street, people who’d attended the first set were buying tickets for the second set, so I knew this was going to be a sweet time.

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