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A DIFFERENT JAZZ FEST

Rejoice! Listen up, WAY up! Anywhere! Before (and after) the plague, New Orleans hosts its annual Jazz and Heritage Festival on the last weekend in April and first weekend in May. On 12 stages, music rings out across the Racetrack Fairgrounds in the Gentilly neighborhood from late morning to dinner time.  Obviously, not this year…except, … Continue reading A DIFFERENT JAZZ FEST

TO The Record Shelf #3 – “Universal Blues” by Keith Pray

Some see the blues as a confining category, a system of fences, borders or limitations. To Keith Pray, the fences touch what’s on the other side, and imports freely cross borders. The Rotterdam resident took his musical training at three schools here and another in the Swiss Alps; he teaches music on two campuses, plus … Continue reading TO The Record Shelf #3 – “Universal Blues” by Keith Pray

TO the Record Shelf #2 – “Loste” by Alex Goldberg

Once a precocious Niskayuna kid, Alex Goldberg built his mostly instrumental album “Loste” in bits and parts, fits and starts – unlike the all-together-now live process of the Chandler Travis Philharmonic on “The Ivan Variations” (TO the Record Shelf #1). “‘Loste’ took a long time to make,” said the Brooklyn resident. “The fastest part was … Continue reading TO the Record Shelf #2 – “Loste” by Alex Goldberg

TO the Record Shelf: “The Ivan Variations” by the Chandler Travis Philharmonic

OK, now, From the Record Shelf looks back, at music from the past that has endured. TO the Record Shelf looks ahead, at new music. Frighteningly prolific, wildly witty, relentlessly clever and fiercely fun-loving, Chandler Travis made his album “The Ivan Variations” the old-fashioned way. In a method unavailable in these plague years, he piled … Continue reading TO the Record Shelf: “The Ivan Variations” by the Chandler Travis Philharmonic

From the Record Shelf: The O’Kanes “Tired of the Runnin’”

And Kieran Kane rolls on, with partner Rayna Gellert Early in the plague time, she-plays-everything singer-songwriter Rayna Gellert emailed about a Caffe Lena live-stream gig with partner Kieran Kane. I didn’t know their duo music, but this caught my attention since Kane is the real goods. His Nashville major label duo with Jamie O’Hara called … Continue reading From the Record Shelf: The O’Kanes “Tired of the Runnin’”

Not THIS Winter…

In any non-plague winter, my friends Dennis and Dan from Massachusetts would be picking me up here in Schenectady today or maybe next week for our annual Adirondacks music pilgrimage to the deep-in-the-woods home of friend and host Stephen and wife Kevan.  Packing skis, snowshoes, warm winter gear, CDs, food (I’d have stocked up at … Continue reading Not THIS Winter…

Well, Excuse me!

Some recent stories need clarifications and caveats My Gazette story Jan. 31 on the Aerodrome brought lots of interest and input from readers: folks LOVED the place. However, concentrating on the musical legacy of the place, I neglected to mention several key contributors to the venue and its activities on the business and bookings side. … Continue reading Well, Excuse me!

Two Names, Two Nations – One Big Bag of Music

This story also appears on http://www.nippertown.com So prolific, so hyphenated, he needs two names, jazz-pop saxophonist-composer-keyboardist-singer-bandleader-teacher Matt Steckler AND Matty Stecks sums up his past, jumps genres and looks ahead on four recent record releases. The most recent and ambitious, “Long Time Ago Rumble” sums up everything so far in a varied career. Jumping around … Continue reading Two Names, Two Nations – One Big Bag of Music

How perfect that Fred Birdsall was with me on that Colorado summit when the mountain goat came by.

We’d climbed Gray’s Peak, then Torrey’s Peak near Georgetown together that morning, a day off for Fred from his wife Ann Hyde’s Institute of Design where he did whatever was needed to keep her fashion school in the Rockies humming. As all-purpose logistical support, he did everything for her, the staff and students. He became … Continue reading How perfect that Fred Birdsall was with me on that Colorado summit when the mountain goat came by.

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