Wow. Talk about a band that does not disappoint! It’s Saturday night and Jazzville, NJ Meetup Group is in attendance at the Gas House Gorillas show at the Robin’s Nest in Linden. It’s a friendly, if cozy, little juke joint that specializes in blues acts. But if you’re here to sit back and take in a quiet, relaxing evening, you are at the wrong show. Early in the night, the crowd’s energy boils over into spontaneous dancing as couples -and even singles- writhe and twist rhythmically among the tables.
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Fresh off her win for Best New Artist at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards (and all the Bieber controversy that surrounded it), Esperanza Spalding will be playing at the historic Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway on March 5th.
It was with great shock and sadness that I read today of the passing of George Shearing, the masterful pianist and composer who wrote one of my favorite tunes, “Lullaby Of Birdland.”
It’s been two years since the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis’ seminal album “Kind of Blue” – an album so wide-reaching in its scope that musicians in both the rock and classical genres have cited it as an influence. Heck, according to Wikipedia, it’s still the best-selling jazz album of all time, certified quadruple platinum in 2008.
So after listening to the smooth and refined Bobby Caldwell earlier in the day, we headed down to the Robin’s Nest in Linden to check out what is probably the most underknown band on the music scene today – The Gas House Gorillas!
JazzvilleNJ founder D.A. Gutierrez has been raving about these guys forever, but the timing and location never worked out. But when he heard they were performing so close by, he practically dragged me to the show. Boy, am I glad he did!
OK, don’t blow a head gasket when I say this, but before November 14, 2010, I didn’t know who Medeski Martin & Wood were. But that definitely wasn’t the case this past Sunday night at Tarrytown Music Hall. There were tons of people there who were more than familiar with these three musicians, and they definitely made their passion (dare I say fanaticism, bordering on obsession) for them known.
The hall was buzzing with excitement as we waited for the band to take the stage. Had I known what would be in store for me, I would have been just as antsy to get started as everyone else around me.
In a great example of just how big the jazz genre is, today I was surprised to learn that Acoustic Alchemy – a group I had always considered to be “World Music” or “New Age” – is in fact considered a jazz group. Awesome! I’ve only followed their music for a few years, but everything I’ve heard is a fantastical mix of relaxed, mellow, upbeat and positive. Listening to their work is like listening to a motivational speech.
Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society Throws It Down At The Newport Jazz Festival (Newport 2010 Recap, Part 2 of 6)
After managing not to fall overboard during our water taxi ride to Fort Adams State Park, D.A. and I headed straight for Harbor Stage to grab close-up seats for the morning’s most anticipated set – Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society.
We pretended he was waving at us during sound check, even though he was really trying to get the technician’s attention. (But hey, one can dream right?) In any case, the place was buzzing by the time the show began. The Canadian jazz composer (turned NYC native) and the members of his 18 piece steampunk big band humbly took the stage after Darcy was introduced as “the most talked-about artist in the genre today thanks to his debut album Infernal Machines.” With that, he led them into their first song, “Transit.”