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Negative

A few days ago, when the world looked like a glazed donut, I thanked my lucky stars that last winter, for the first time, I discovered that keeping an ice scraper in the house works better than trying to tug open a frozen car door to get the ice scraper inside it. I joined my neighbors in … Continue reading Negative

Live Review – Bill Charlap Trio at The Egg Swyer Theatre, Sunday, December 19, 2021

Short and sweet, that was Bill Charlap’s all-Washingtons trio Sunday at The Egg’s Swyer Theatre. Give the guys (jazz pianist Charlap with drummer Kenny Washington and bassist Peter Washington, but not related) extra points for NOT playing any Christmas tunes.The most old-fashioned player of his (boomer) generation, the versatile Charlap played fluently in the vocabularies … Continue reading Live Review – Bill Charlap Trio at The Egg Swyer Theatre, Sunday, December 19, 2021

Richard Thompson at The Egg Swyer Theatre on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021

LIVE REVIEW Rejoicing to be among “human beings” once again on Sunday at The Egg’s (smaller) Swyer Theatre, the very British all-skills troubadour Richard Thompson promised “a wild evening of depressing songs.”  As usual, he delivered that, but much more. He first wryly drenched the place in gloom; then he very gradually raised the mood … Continue reading Richard Thompson at The Egg Swyer Theatre on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021

This Place

Returning to my wife Ellie’s family farmstead always feels like a pilgrimage.  It’s beautiful, to any eye; but singularly precious in how our family sees it. The 1797 house sits in a hollow among rolling ridges, home to dairy farms, wild turkeys, prosperous weekending city folk and commuters to busier places, and to folks working … Continue reading This Place

Jazz on Jay No. 14: Joshua Nelson Quartet, Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021

The music warmed up more than the weather Thursday as young alto saxophonist Joshua Nelson delivered a confident, crowd-pleasing straight-head show; not that there was anything wrong with the sunny afternoon, either. The former Schenectady resident brought downstate band-mates, but happily greeted family, friends and mentors from the tented bandstand.  In his first number, from … Continue reading Jazz on Jay No. 14: Joshua Nelson Quartet, Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021

Mister Charlie

The Immaculate Percussion Until recently, I greeted news of every death with the hope that it wasn’t COVID. This was a strange superstition about how our dreaded plague somehow drowned out the possibility of anything else deadly happening around here. Not so, obviously. Am I more pissed off that John Prine died of COVID than … Continue reading Mister Charlie

Music Haven Reopens in Shortened Season of Free Concerts

Bluesman Albert Cummings Rocks the (happy) House, Wyld Blu Opens Each concert venue reopening in this second plague year brings its own particular joy – a general feeling of relief and reunion, but spiced with its own particular atmosphere and energy. At Music Haven in Schenectady’s Central Park Sunday night, it was diversity, dancing and … Continue reading Music Haven Reopens in Shortened Season of Free Concerts

Jazz on Jay No. 9 – The Dadtet Thursday, August 12

They’re all dads: trombonist/leader Ben O’Shea, pianist David Gleason, saxophonists Brian Patneaude (tenor) and Dave Fisk (tenor and alto), bassist Mike Lawrence; and drummer Andy Hearn. Their Dadtet band name signifies parenthood more than any oblique reference to Louis “Pops” Armstrong. It serves instead as a convenient, collective marquee label for these established area jazz … Continue reading Jazz on Jay No. 9 – The Dadtet Thursday, August 12

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