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Posts Tagged ‘James Brown’

Soulive members, the rhythmic Evans brothers Neal and Alan and guitarist Eric Krasno transformed The Brooklyn Bowl from a guitar god’s wet dream to a world of funk and Beatle Mania on the third night of Bowlive III.

However, before the show could start, there were a few adventures I went on that I would like to share.  The most silly adventure was first. On Jam Cruise this year, a girl named Harmony held a pet adoption with stuffed animals (mostly sheep) of varying styles and sizes. What first occurred at The Catskill Chill Music Festival on a small scale last summer had now made it’s way to the Jam Cruise world on a large scale. As a result, musicians and their children, like New Orleans trombonist Big Sam (Big Sam’s Funky Nation) and Marco Benevento‘s daughter Ruby, adopted animals. Big Sam adopted a sheep and named her…what else? Harmony!

What's with the stuffed animals, you ask?

What’s with the stuffed animals, you ask?

Front row rage with Jessica, Laurie and LUCY!

Front row rage with Jessica, Laurie and LUCY!

Jam Cruisers and their animals were all over the Bowlive scene during the ten day residency but Big Sam is the only artists who engaged in the enjoyment of his adopted pet publicly. Before the show, I was with a friend who had brought her lamb, Lucy. We ran into Big Sam and asked about Harmony. He had her in a plastic bag in his hand. Right then and there, Harmony was brought out and Lucy and she “played” and “danced” a bit together before Big Sam took Harmony backstage! Over the run, Lucy (NY), Smiley-Face (MD), Harmony (NOLA), Fluffy (VA) and Jimmy (NJ) would make their way from various parts of America with their adoptive parents to enjoy Bowlive shows from the front row.  Big Sam’s Harmony, however, was the only one who engaged in the back stage rage and got to dance on stage. Enjoy the clip:


At the end of the day, this new vein within our scene is representative of the curiosity and connection that we all posses and/or seek. Just as The Karma Wash and Fan Club Headquarters are relevant, so is this fun idea. Amazingly, lots of people have mascots and the addition of this adoption program has spawned multiple mascot meetups and adoptive front row rages around our scene. Be sure to look for a stuffed sheep or mascot near you and share a dance 🙂

Neal Evans (Photo by Phrazz)

Neal Evans (Photo by Phrazz)

The previous two evenings, the trio infused their sounds with special guest southern slide guitarist Luther Dickinson and jazz great John Scofield. On this night, Karl Denson (Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe), Sam Williams (Big Sam’s Funky Nation), and Rahzel (The Roots) graced the stage with their flute and saxophone, trombone and beat boxing, respectively.

The organ-based jazz trio kicked off their set with “Steppin,” off their 2010 Live at the Blue Note Tokyo album and “Uncle Junior,” 2007 Get Down album. As the three core leaders of Bowlive, they immediately established that there would be no slowing down. By the middle of “Aladdin,” all three men on stage were fully invested.  Krasno was taking his solos at the edge of the stage, sometimes rising onto his toes, while Neal Evans dominated the song with his bass keys and organ play and Alan Evans slammed his drums with ferocity.

Karl Denson (Photo by Phrazz)

Karl Denson (Photo by Phrazz)

Karl Denson was announced as the audience was told that he “just got off a plane and walked on this stage.”  Karl Denson is one of the hardest working musicians in the business and his passion for his craft drips off every note he plays. He is a fast, funky band leader who is always consistent in his delivery.  “The Swamp” and “Rudy’s Way” followed with Denson choosing to add his flute to the beautifully composed songs.  The addition of Karl’s flute to the sound of our favorite trio added another dimension of emotion to the songs.  They continued with “Shaheed,” off their 2001 album Doin’ Something where Karl’s flute provided a softness to the hard-edged song. Krasno raged his guitar till the strings broke and had to change to a new guitar and Neal Evans kicked a drum solo into the audience’s guts.

Alan Evans, Karl Denson, Big Sam, and Eric Krasno (Photo by Phrazz)

Alan Evans, Karl Denson, Big Sam, Eric Krasno & Nigel Hall (Photo by Phrazz)

Joining the foursome on stage next was Nigel Hall (The Warren Haynes Band) and Sam Williams (Big Sam’s Funky Nation). There can be no doubt that the danceable and excitable energy that Big Sam brings is something you can’t find in many artists. The New Orleans native, formerly the trombonist for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, danced out on stage with his horn, picked up a stage prop that he had brought (his stuffed sheep named Harmony) and began to dance all around the stage. Nigel and Big Sam began grooving it together and the entire audience couldn’t help but beam over the energy of it all.  These are serious performances but it’s ALWAYS appropriate to have a good time and with just his presence; Big Sam will lift any crowd. The powerhouse of funk on stage slowed the rage down for the soulful, “Leave Me Alone,” sung by Hall. Karl Denson changed to his saxophone and kicked us a lightning fast solo to end the set.

Rage (Photo by Phrazz)

Rage (Photo by Phrazz)

Rahzel Set Break Set (Photo by Phrazz)

Rahzel Set Break Set (Photo by Phrazz)

Straying from the formula of the first two nights, during this set break the audience would not be staring at an empty stage waiting for the first set to start. Instead, Beat Boxer Rahzel, the “Godfather of Noyze,” came out to keep them engaged.  Watching the audience react to this amazing addition to the night was almost as exciting as watching Rahzel. Specialize in the “fifth element of hip-hop,” Rahzel’s instrument is himself and a microphone.  He is a vocal percussionist who uses his breath, mouth and body to imitate sounds, instruments and voices.  He projected unmistakable beats from the Wu-Tang Clan and Run DMC. He became a DJ scratching records, created a buzzing insect around his head and brought Optimus Prime (Transforms) to life on stage with his robotic sounds. His signature song, “If Your Mother Only Knew” is always the highlight of a Rahzel performance. Rahzel simultaneously sings the lyrics and works the beats. It is quite difficult to even comprehend how Rahzel does what he does!  AMAZING!

Rubber Soulive Album

Rubber Soulive Album

Before Beatle Mania could kick off the first set, Soulive joined Rahzel on stage and performed “I Am the Magnificent” and it was just that, magnificent.  The entire first half of the second set consisting of songs chosen off Soulive’s latest album, Rubber Soulive.  “Come Together,” “Eleanor Rigby,” and I Want You (She’s So Heavy).” The audience sang along to the first song while the psychedelic lights and trippy sounds emanating off stage for “She’s So Heavy” was reinvented through the jazz trio.

Karl Denson, Big Sam, Nigel Hall and Lenesha Randolph (Photo by Phrazz)

Karl Denson, Big Sam, Nigel Hall and Lenesha Randolph (Photo by Phrazz)

Questlove (Photo by Phrazz)

Questlove (Photo by Phrazz)

Big Sam, Karl Denson, Nigel Hall and now, Lenesha Randolph (Robert Randolph and the Family Band) joined the stage for “Too Much.” Randolph and Hall sang the up-beat tune while Karl and Big Sam took their turn at the mic delivering some of the hardest, funkiest horn solos that Bowlive audiences will experience this run.  They kept up the pace with Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” and Questlove (The Roots) replacing Alan Evans, who picked up a guitar.

Full Stage Rage (Photo by Phrazz)

Full Stage Rage (Photo by Phrazz)

The entire crew of Soulive and their special guests kicked off the end of the set with “Tuesday Night Squad.”  Big Sam dominated a 3 minute long trombone rage, Alan was back on killin it on the drums, Nigel was on the Bongos before heading over to Neal where the pair did a little dance, if you will, shifting back and forth past each other to manipulate the various levels of keys that Neal’s kit provides.  Hall sang James Brown’s “Beweildered,” a deep, soulful song that required Nigel to reach the top of his range, and then he walked off stage.  It was back into “Tuesday Night Squad” to close the set.

Nigel and Neal Rage the Boards (Photo by Phrazz)

Nigel and Neal Rage the Boards (Photo by Phrazz)

There was never really an encore because every musician on stage was so into the music and feeling the audience’s energy that they chose to just play through and give their fans that extra five minutes of music that every audience desires.

Download Night 3 Sound Board Audio Here!

In three days Bowlive III had now brought us jazz, soul, psychedelic rock, New Orleans funk, hip-hop and southern-style blues in only three nights. The following evening, the party continued with Karl Denson sticking around for a second night and Jennifer Hartswick (Trey Anastasio Band) joining with her funky trumpet and soulful voice.

Pictures by Phrazz

Videos by: I can’t believe there are no videos for this entire night. If anyone finds some, send them my way

Words by The Tiny Rager

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FEEL THAT RAGE!!!! SEE THAT RAGE!!! Pic by Josh Raskin

FEEL THAT RAGE! SEE THAT RAGE! ~ Pic by Josh Raskin

Blast Off: Lettuce’s new material leaves Rage in the dust…

Eric Krasno – Guitar
Adam Deitch – Drums
Neal Evans – Organ/keys
E.D. Coomes – Bass
Adam “Shmeens” Smirnoff – Guitar
James Casey – Alto Sax
Ryan Zoidis – Tenor Sax
Eric Bloom – Trumpet
Rashawn Ross – Trumpet
Nigel Hall – vocals/keys
Mel Flannery – Vocals
Alicia Chakour – Vocals
Happy Holiday Rage! Pic: by Josh Raskin

Happy Holiday Rage! Pic by Josh Raskin

As the funk super group Lettuce began the familiar strains of Curtis Mayfield‘s “We’re a Winner,” which morphed, as it usually does, into Mayfield’s “Move on Up” to close out Wednesday Night’s Royal Family Holiday Party at the Brooklyn Bowl,  I couldn’t help but laugh because it was a perfect bookend to a new chapter in the life of this fantastic band. This dynamic tune, with Nigel Hall jumping up to deliver some soul shaking melodies on vocals, has been one of the band’s most consistent the last couple years, and it made me think about how far this band has come.

THE MAN! Pic: by Josh Raskin

THE MAN! Pic by Josh Raskin

Rewind three and a half years! I’ve returned home from my first New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and was itching for great live music to stem the withdrawal tide. I headed to the Bowery Ballroom to see this band I had skipped at Fest because I knew they were playing at home later…and I dug it.  Great band, busy, Rube Goldberg type funk (you know, lots of moving parts coming together to make awesome, think of the Charles Mingus track “Moanin'” and you’ll see what I mean), high energy, great musicians, even had this awesome dude come up and sing a few classics, including a great Curtis Mayfield cover.  Nice stuff, liked it a lot.  Snagged the new (at the time) album, Rage and really liked most of the tracks. It actually spent a lot of time in rotation in the car and the Ipod.

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Get Some Jesus ~ Pic: by Josh Raskin

Get Some Jesus ~ Pic by Josh Raskin

But here is the thing, if you don’t know the Lettuce story, then you don’t get the power of the whole picture.  Unlike bands who stay together and tour often like Galactic, the members of Lettuce only gather for small periods of time throughout the year. When you are Lettuce, you record a quick album, maybe you see each other a couple times a year for a few gigs, but that’s largely it, you’re not necessary wood-shedding together a whole lot.

Case in point: On archive.org, Lettuce has eight recorded sets in 2002, one recorded set in 2003, no recorded sets from 2004-2007.  None!  Then, moved by the passing of James Brown and J-Dilla, the fellas recorded Rage and started out on the road again in 2008. This is not to say these guys aren’t monster players on their own, because they are. But there’s a difference between rocking out with old friends and playing sets with increased regularity, rehearsing and getting into the groove, finding and exploring new places. You gotta know who else is there to really get there! That’s why I like seeing shows at the end of the long run instead of beginning, because players will have gotten a little more comfortable, a little more familiar, and will be able to stretch out. That’s the band we saw on Wednesday night.

James Casey and Ryan Zoidois kilin it! ~ Pic: by Josh Raskin

James Casey and Ryan Zoidois kilin it! ~ Pic by Josh Raskin

A couple Royal Family Ball throwdowns in New York and New Orleans, a Royal Family Ball tour, two Bowlive runs, the first ever Royal Family Affair (which I sadly missed), two Royal Family holiday concerts, Bear Creek Arts and Music Festival, Jam Cruise, prep for the CRAZY set with Dr. John and Maceo that kicked off this year… it’s been a big couple years for Lettuce.  Each performance felt a little stronger, a little tighter, a little more impressive.

With Nigel Hall and Alecia Chakour in the mix, Lettuce can grow to as many as twelve or thirteen folks on stage at a time, and making that sound tight ain’t easy. Some of the fellas putting down roots in Brooklyn really allowed for a base of operations for the group, particularly at the Brooklyn Bowl, and it shows.  Lettuce has done more gigging, rehearsal, and playing together than they have done in a while. As 2011 winds down, they’ve started dropping new tunes in shows, tunes that feel deeper and stronger than any of their previous material. Again, I dig Rage, a lot. However, this is no longer old friends putting together some real solid grooves and giving props to the giants who’s shoulders they stand on. Lettuce is now a fearsome unit ready to flex their own muscles.

Mel Flannery and Alicia Chakour ~ Pic by Josh Raskin
Mel Flannery and Alicia Chakour ~ Pic by Josh Raskin

The band is tight as hell.  Everybody sounds awesome. I was loving Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff leading a couple tunes and laying out a great solo.  Adam Deitch is locked in on the drum kit and he and E.D “Jesus” Coomes combine to make one killer rhythm section! The Shmeeans/Deitch beatboxing was HOT as well!  Eric Krasno keeps growing, which seems preposterous for someone as good as he is. Neal Evans always brings that extra something to kick the songs up (though as much as I love Neal, the clavinet was a little up in the mix, and I had to abandon my normal front right spot to make sure I could hear the horns).  And while Sam Kinninger was missed, the horns did sound awesome, with Ryan Zoidis leading the pack, Rashawn Ross and Eric Bloom on trumpet, and sentimental favorite James Casey (see: ridiculous solo on “Get Back” from Bowlive 1) on tenor.  In fact, due to Kinninger’s absence, Casey could be seen upstairs with headphones on learning Kinninger’s parts right up until the show began. True dedication! I would have loved for the band to give the horns some more spotlight. Either way, they were solid as always.  Vocalists Nigel Hall  impressed the most this night having grown so much as an artist and a dude in the last two years.  Alecia Chakour and Mel Flannery are also great additions to the krewe.

I’ve seen these musicians before, but not like this.  I kept turning to people and saying, “What?!” The new grooves are chest-thumping, gut-busting, smack the person next to you and say “Damn, that shit is dope!” kind of tracks. “If I Was Jack Spade That Would Be My Theme Music” kind of tracks. KILLIN!! I can’t say it any plainer than this: the new material Lettuce is playing is FIRE!  Nasty, literally jaw-dropping funk not to be messed with. Of the five or six songs I heard Wednesday night, four of them would be my favorite track on Rage! right now, and that’s an album I really like!

My advice to other amazing funk/soul/jam bands I know and love, especially when playing anywhere near Lettuce, STEP YA GAME UP!  2012 is a year of a lot of eagerly awaited album releases: Galactic, Antibalas, Soulive Karl Denson EP, even hip hop legends Black Star are getting into it.  But if Eric Coomes’ warning to me on my walk out of the Brooklyn Bowl holds true: “Dude. Wait till you hear the other shit, you don’t even know.” The best one of all could be coming from the Royal Family straight out of Brooklyn.

At last, that blessed day has come.

Set-List: Madison Square, Fast Kraz, Play, By Any Shmeeans Necessary, Last Suppit, Slow Zap, Mean Funk, Slippin’, Dilla, Let it Ride, Kings of the Bergs, GoGo and Makin’ My Way Back Home (w/ Nigel Hall), Blast Off

Words by Russ Agdern
Pictures by Josh Raskin
Video by Bill Giordano

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Note from the Editor: You are encouraged to read The Montreux Jazz Festival posts in order as they all contain information that pours meaning into the following posts:  Click here for  My Behind The Scene Tour and Overview of The Montreux Jazz Festival **

Miles Davis Tribute @ Montreux Jazz Festival

Even though the Montreux Jazz Festival had been raging for over two weeks, The Miles Davis Tribute was the first show of the festival for Josh and I, having just arrived in Montreux, Switzerland by way of Paris, France earlier that morning.

View from looking left out to lake Geneva or Lake LeMan

View from walk to Auditorium, while walking and looking left out to Lake Geneva aka Lake LeMan

This would be a very special performance for us and other Americans who were attending because this show was not making its way to the United States.   Sad but true, which made this a very special performance for jazz heads like Josh and I.

We walked from our hotel to the gorgeous Auditorium Stravinsky, about a 15 minute walk along the gorgeous Lake Geneva, or Lake Léman as the Swiss prefer to call it. You can read more about this gorgeous auditorium and its amazing acoustical design in my previous post titled My Behind The Scene Tour and Overview of The Montreux Jazz Festival!

Having been blessed with a amazing VIP package from the wonderful Sloane Family earlier in the year, we were so excited and didn’t know what to expect! We had already been greeted upon arrival to our hotel by a Festival representative and been given a goodie bag full of Mac Cosmetics, two festival tee-shirts, a dual-disc sampler CD, Missoni pamphlets and more.

View of festival sidewalk heading up to Auditorium Stravinsky at night!

Night view of festival sidewalk heading up to Auditorium Stravinsky, which is to the left of the white tent! The Lake is located behind me at this view.

We found our way to the Protocole’ Office where a most gracious staff took care of us.  Vivian, Josephine and Helena were beyond wonderful!!  Thank you ladies for your patience, giving us the best of care, making sure we weren’t kicked out of our booth by the stars and reminding us how hospitality should be handled.  New Yorkers need to recognize!  The hospitality in Switzerland is absolutely unmatchable.

We were given two slips of thick paper and orange wrist bands that served as entry to the box seats. We were shown the way to the top of the venue, led down a little hallway and placed into Box #4.  My magic number 🙂  There were only six boxes total as far as our floor was concerned. If they had more, I never knew about them or saw them.

Raging the Box Seat Shot!

Happy Box Seat Ragers!!

The below picture shows the stage from the left side box view.  We were just the mirror image, same spot but our box was situated to the right of the stage. It was a phenomenal view of the show, albeit far away.  There would be no front row raging during these performances.

Auditorium Stravinski

Auditorium Stravinski

The show was slated to begin at 8pm but we all know what that means.  Finally around 8:45pm, beginning fashionably late (pun intended and you’ll see why later), Claude “Funky Claude” Nobs, the fonder and general manager of The Festival, and a few staff members came out on stage to press festival merchandise. Claude led the pack, wearing multiple shirts, stripping away a layer at a time then throwing the shirts into the audience. Then came the introductions via Funky Claude.

The Miles Davis Tribute @ The Montreux Jazz Festival

The Miles Davis Tribute @ The Montreux Jazz Festival (C) Lionel Flusin

Miles Davis Tribute produced by Marcus Miller

Herbie Hancock – Keys
Wayne Shorter – Saxophone
Marcus Miller – Bass
Sean Christopher Rickman – Drums
Sean Christopher Jones – Trumpet

Pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, saxophonist Wayne Shorter and bassist Marcus Miller are all alums of the school of Miles Davis, having all had the pleasure of playing with Davis before he passed.  The jazz great, whose statue stands proudly in a park next to Miles Davis Hall, performed 10 times at Montreux, the last time just two months before his death at age 65 in 1991.

Claude welcomes Marcus Miller (C) Lionel Flusin 2

Claude welcomes Marcus Miller (C) Lionel Flusin

Marcus Miller was introduced and came out in an all white suit and his signature black hat.  Herbie Hancock was introduced and came out rocking a MEGA Cosby Sweater to which Claude commented on how he liked it. Well, of course he did.  Claude Nobs only wears Missioni!  Yall know the “interesting” $1,000+ designs that looks like ugly sweater patterns? It’s my least favorite store on Madison Avenue and here is this dude who only wears that brand. He rocked every piece 🙂  It was made for Claude and all his fabulousness and, to be honest, I grew to like a few items during my trip.  Wayne Shorter was next and in the tradition of Davis, the trio has brought in two young musicians to work with them, trumpeter Sean Jones and the drummer Sean Rickman.

Sean Jones during The Miles Davis Tribute @ The Montreux Jazz Festival

Sean Jones during The Miles Davis Tribute @ The Montreux Jazz Festival

The two-hour concert, which stretched into the early hours of Thursday, was a highlight of the 45th annual Montreux Jazz Festival, “where Davis is still remembered for driving along Lake Geneva in a red Ferrari.”

Set List

Walkin’
Little One
Milestones
All Blues
Directions
It’s About That Time
Water Babies
Someday My Prince Will Come
Footprints
Put Your Little Foot Forward
Jean Pierre
Orbits
Dr Jeckyll

(encore)

Tutu
Time After Time

Marcus Miller (C) Lionel Flusin

Marcus Miller (C) Lionel Flusin

The five piece ensemble opened with “Walkin,” the title track of Miles Davis‘s 1954 album.  Herbie Hancock started the song out slowly, following through alternating from his piano and keyboards.  During his solo, his face made the deepest of connections with the notes and you could see it in the way he contorted his mouth and eyes with feeling.  There was gorgeous mournful trumpet and saxophone exchange between Sean Jones and Wayne Shorter respectively and then the “Blah, Blah, Blah” happened through “Little Ones” and “Milestones.”

During the Marcus Miller workshop the following day, a question was asked about the set list and how it was formed.  Miller spoke about how they picked the song, (which I will speak of fully in the Marcus Miller Workshop Post to follow this one next week).

He spoke about how they didn’t want to do the songs the same and it was when they began to have fun with the songs that the “Blah, Blah, Blah” would happen. It was the “Blah, Blah, Blah” that made this experience its own and where the beauty in the performance was meant to show itself.  So, during each song, the group would go off into “Blah, Blah, Blah” and that was when the magic happened.

Marcus Miller raged an amazing electric bass solo during “All Blues” as he curled his fingers into the strings, creating a gorgeous texture of sound. There was no guitar on stage, yet it was so tight, so jazzy and so full of notes and excitement that it filled the auditorium fully. During the “Blah,Blah, Blah” towards the end, Miller changed to a saxophone-looking instrument that layered a deep tone under the rest of the group.

Sean Jones and Wayne Shorter (C) Lionel Flusin

Sean Jones and Wayne Shorter (C) Lionel Flusin

During a swanky “Directions,” I notice movement in the box to my left.  I see Esperanza Spalding being sat down on the second row with a few of her people. At first, I didn’t think it was her but then who else rocks hair like that?  It took all my power not to geek out.  She is a musical goddess and we would be enjoying her performance only a few hours later for the Quincy Jones’s Global Gumbo, (another post that will be following this one shortly).

“Someday My Prince Will Come,” from the 1961 album recorded with John Coltrane, was beautiful.  This is one of my all time favorite songs.  A gorgeous song from Disney’s 1937’s Classic Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, it’s impossible not to feel something as a female while listening to this song.  My eyes immediately welled up and I know I was not alone in this emotional stirring of the soul.

Sean Rickman (C) Lionel Flusin

Sean Rickman (C) Lionel Flusin

Marcus Miller started off with a slow bass solo then Sean Rickman and Herbie Hancock took over the stage. I had never seen Rickman or so I thought.  He is actually the drummer from Garaj Mahal, a group I have not been able to see in a long time.  He caught my ear. Most of the time drummers are not the artists who catch my ears in a project like this.  He was superb and he looked to be having so much fun up there as his smile never once dropped, nor did his beat.

Then, a nice informative break in the show as Wayne Shorter engaged the audience with how the super group decided to approach this tribute.

Wayne Shorter during The Miles Davis Tribute @ The Montreux Jazz Festival

Wayne Shorter during The Miles Davis Tribute @ The Montreux Jazz Festival

During their first rehearsal, the five men did nothing but talk about how best to honor Miles’s spirit. They didn’t play a single note during the entire first rehearsal.  Miller would later say in his Workshop that during that time of revelation, they would try to outdo each other by seeing who could come up with the most obscure Miles tunes.  It was during this time, during this first rehearsal, that Miller said they became a band, before a single note was ever played between them.

“In preparing for these concerts,” Mr. Hancock said, “we had many conversations about the interests of Miles outside of music like boxing and cooking. He was arguably a master chef. It adds more dimensions to him. We’ll embrace his spirit by being in the moment and creating a new perspective, sometimes on known themes.”


While putting together their set list, the one thing the group didn’t want to do was “play in the style in which it was originally done because we figured Miles would hate that.” Miles was a man who always looks forward and so as they looked back at his music to play they knew that Miles would have wanted them to look forward, taking his music to new levels.

Let’s make it like a soundtrack to Miles’s life’!” “It doesn’t feel like 20 years, it feels like 4 or 5. Miles’s music is everywhere. This is dedicated to the spirit of Miles Davis, the most beautiful thing he gave us.” ~ Marcus Miller

They spoke on how they felt Miles had only been dead 4 or 5 years, not the 20 years  that we were celebrating tonight.  They felt, and I agree, that this was because of the fact that Miles’s music is still so very relevant today and the lingering spirit that resides in all the artists who played with him keep his spirit flowing through the scene and through the music.

Sean Jones (C) Lionel Flusin

Sean Jones (C) Lionel Flusin

Breaking into “Footprints,” Wayne Shorter related to the audience that this portion of the show would represent Miles’s childhood.   The songs were playful which made sense and the “Blah, Blah, Blah of this song became funky as the bass and horns led the pack.  During the song, Hancock transformed his keyboards into human noises, each key making a different sound consisting of hoots and hollers sound bites from James Brown that said “Come on,” “Groove,” “Yeah,” and cat calls and yelps. The “Blah, Blah, Blah” had taken over.

There was another song thrown in to the mix here that I just couldn’t get the name of.  Sean Rickman would later tell me:

“After ‘Footprints’ we play[ed] a swing tune that represented Miles’ “childhood”. I forgot the name of that tune. Then we did Jean Pierre.”

Marcus put down the electric bass and moved to the standup for “Jean Pierre” which changed the entire scenery of the sound in the room, almost big band-y.  I knew it was a song from later in Miles’s day.  If I could only remember the name.  The trumpets led the band during and the “Blah, Blah, Blah” of this song went on for minutes and ended in a standing ovation of the crowd.

Herbie Hancock (C) Lionel Flusin

Herbie Hancock (C) Lionel Flusin

Being on the big stage for this 5 piece band was perfect. The artists on stage lined up for a bow and it was tearful moment for me.  The music had been overwhelmingly different from anything I had expected to hear that night. I don’t think I have experienced such a tight and wonderful jazz performance.  The legends on that stage, the fact that it wasn’t being played in America, my appreciation for the moment, my appreciation for Miles; it brought tears to my eyes.

I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. The entire crowd was standing in ovation with respect for the super group who had just played the “Blah, Blah, Blah” out of the music! Taking the music to an entirely new level and doing EXACTLY what they had planned.  After the ovation, Hancock strapped on a synthesizer keyboard for the first encore: “TuTu.”

Marcus Miller @ Montreux Jazz Festival

Marcus Miller @ Montreux Jazz Festival

Hancock and Miller had fun during this tune, walking towards each other in the middle of the stage and Hancock bantered musically with each musician.  Each one playing a rip and Hancock coming back with his handheld. When it was Shorter’s turn, he blasted out a single note, laughter again erupted into the audience. All Wayne Shorter needs to play is a single note.  So amazing.

Once again, they maneuvered to getting off the stage but this time they were stopped by Claude Nops, who requested another song.  This time, the song that took us all by surprise, “Time After Time,” a song made famous by Cyndi Lauper in the 80’s, was played.

Marcus Miller was back on his deep saxophone and created a totally wormy sound from the instrument to take “Time after Time” to a different place.  Without Hancock playing the melody shortly after, one might not have recognized the song. I recognized it immediately. There was even a Star Wars tease from Shorter on his saxophone in there if you caught it.  Completely playful and unique.

Later, during his workshop, Marcus Miller would speak about how Miles Davis could take a super cheesy song or a song that most musicians might view as cheesy and find the beauty in it.  This was one of those songs.  Miller felt that ending with a song that Miles Davis revamped was a perfect ending to this tribute, showing us how he could be the master of anything.

“Marcus produced a great concert,” said Claude Nobs, founder of the Swiss festival now in its 45th year.

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Bowlive II: Night One – Soulive w/ Lettuce and Maceo Parker

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

Photo by Allison Murphy)

Bowlive 2, a two week Soulive residency at the Brooklyn Bowl, kicked off yesterday firing on all cylinders.  For a Tuesday, the venue was packed! You could literally feel The Gods of Funk smiling down upon the Bowl’s stage the entire night as we were delivered one of the funkiest weeknights the Brooklyn Bowl has seen.

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

Right off the bat it was evident that this year would be different. There were more cameras propped up around the venue to tape the magic that would take place over the ten day run.  There were three beautiful tapestries lining one of the walls with Eric Krasno‘s face shimmering in gold.  There was a Soulive backdrop on the wall across from the merchandise table set up for fans to take pictures in front of.  But the biggest difference this year…Bowlive 2 opening night sold more tickets than The Funky Meters did on their opening night.  That is crazy!!  Last year on opening night the venue was barely half full.  It was quite literally myself, my boys Rob and Russ and maybe 50 other people.  It was also the night that I met the wonderful musical blogger of ViewsSkewed.com, Meredith Berke.  I can safely say, without her assistance and guidance, Tinyrager.com may never have existed 🙂

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

The Nigel Hall Band

Nigel Hall – Keys, Vocals
Eric Krasno – Bass
Adam Deitch – Drums
Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff – Guitar
Alan Evans – Percussion
Neal Evans – Keys, bass
Tania Jones– Backup vocals
Mel Flannery – Backup vocals

Special Guest:
Ryan Zoidis – Alto Saxophone

Last year’s Bowlive saw Nigel Hall singing alone at his Rhodes until the ends of his set when members of Soulive and Lettuce would join in to help him close it out with major energy.  After a year of rotating back ground singers and putting together various combinations of musicians, The Nigel Hall Band has finally gotten it’s core group on lock down.

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

A little after 9pm, The Nigel Hall Band, consisting of Eric Krasno on bass, Adam Deitch on drums, Neal Evans on organ, Alan Evans on percussion, Mel Flannery and Tania Jones on backup vocals and Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff on guitar, hit the stage filling the excessively packed venue with soulful songs layered with get-down funk.  It’s always awesome seeing Krasno on bass.  He is so smooth with his guitar and to see him with a bass while others fill the guitar spot,  well, it’s fun! The always soulful Hall, decked out in an orange and white argyle sweater and a baseball cap, geared us up in a way that only he could.  While most songs were sung seated at his Rhodes, Hall sang his way through fan favorites such as “Never Know” and “Gimmie A Sign.”

Engaging the audience with his expressive nature, Hall danced around the stage for “Never Gonna Let You Go” and “Too Sweet” during which Ryan Zoidis came out for an impromptu saxophone solo.   Nigel Hall’s undeniable energy is exactly why Soulive has slated him to open for the remainder of the Bowlive 2 run.

Set List: Baby We Could Have It All (end), Hang It Up,  Back Home, Give Me A Sign, Too Sweet, Never Know, Never Wanna Let You Go

Click here to download a copy of the performance for your enjoyment!

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

Soulive

Eric Krasno – Guitar
Neal Evans – Keys, bass
Alan Evans – Drums

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

By the time the members of Soulive were set to hit the stage, the Brooklyn Bowl was a sardine can busting at the edges with excitement.  However, before the anticipated set could begin, Brooklyn Bowl owner Peter Shapiro came on stage to express his gratitude for this musical event and for the audience participation by offering 600 shots of Tequila which were delivered by the tray full throughout the venue.

The lucky residents of New York City recognized that even though this was a school night, nothing would keep them from enjoying the first night of what is expected to be a giant success of a musical run. Pete knew this and the turn out was jaw-dropping.  Perhaps everyone felt stupid for missing Lettuce and Maceo Parker playing Brooklyn Bowl together back in January.  Perhaps they just heard how good it was and needed to check these guys out for themselves.

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

Nigel Hall comes to the front of the stage and screams into the microphone, “Are you ready to Rage?”…a pitiful response follows.  He repeats himself and the venue caught on.  We were ready to rage.

Finally, the hosts for the night, guitarist Eric Krasno, drummer Alan Evans and organist Neal Evans, appropriately dressed in Royal Purple, entered on stage and the Brooklyn Bowl erupted.  Over the course of the next hour, the funky trio blasted through “El Ron” and releasing a fantastic “One in Seven” on us before offering us a few Beatles covers from their latest album, Rubber Soulive.

Set List: El Ron, Aladdin, One in Seven, Come Together, Eleanor Rigby—>I Want You (She’s So Heavy)

Click here to download a copy of the performance for your enjoyment!

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

Lettuce w/ Maceo Parker

Maceo Parker – Saxophone

Eric Krasno – Guitar
Neal Evans – Keys, bass
Adam Deitch – Drums
Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff – Guitar
Alan Evans – Percussion, Vocals
E.D. “Jesus” Coomes – Bass, Vocals
Ryan Zoidis – Alto Saxophone
Cheme Gastelum – Saxophone
Igmar Thomas – Trumpet
Brian Thomas – Trombone
Eric Bloom – Trumpet
Nigel Hall – Keys, Vocals

Special Guest:

Alecia Chakour – Vocals
James Hurt – Keys

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

Lettuce came on stage raging full force into the appropriately named “Blast Off” with “Last Suppit” following. A few songs in, Maceo Parker, the leader of James Brown’s infamous horn section, joined the stage.  As he enters, he playfully goes for Nigel Hall‘s baseball cap and then drops his hand and they share a laugh.  Now it was time to dance your ass off as they raged right into several covers beginning with Parliament Funkadelic’s “Up for the Down Stroke.”

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

It was pretty sick to see Cheme join the horns even though Sam wasn’t there and how it was nice they gave him real room to solo during the encores, the same way they gave James Casey a long solo during “Get Back” last year. ~ Russ Agdern

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

The tidal wave of funk through the combination of Lettuce and Maceo continued to bring the fire with “Uptown Up” were Maceo rapped the Corey Parker verse.  “There Was a Time,” a James Brown favorite, saw Adam Deitch solo on the drums as Maceo Parker teased Brown’s “Cold Sweat” over top.  At one point Parker focuses on  It was then time to give Ray Charles a little love as Maceo and the gang brought it down nice and slow for “Night Time is the Right Time” where Alecia Chakour ripped a solo that had all eyes on her and people asking left and right, “Who was this phenomenal voice?”

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

The remainder of the set continued to up the heat with funky vibes and soulful solos. Alecia Chakour joined backup vocals as Maceo Parker exited the stage.  She is absolutely amazing.  Talk about attitude and vocal style. Straight soul sista right there.  An audience member got on a friend’s shoulder and screamed for her during her solo before being asked to get down. The energy in this place was killer.

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

There was a time where there were at least 8 people on stage and they were all just playing, improving beats. Nigel and Chakour inserting their voices in various places.  The focus was again on Nigel Hall as he busts out his vocals with “Making My Way Back Home.” Acclaimed Jazz pianist, James Hurt, popped in for a few minutes to tear up “Pass the Peas” and  again for the encore of “By Any Schmeans Necessary.” Somewhere in the middle of all of it, Maceo Parker returns to the stage in his long winter jacket, looking all ready to walk out the door, but not without one more goodbye!

Set List: Blast Off, Last Suppit, P-Funk Medley including: Up for the Down Stroke/Mothership Connection/Let’s Take It To The Stage/take Your Dead Ass Home, Uptown Up, There Was a Time, Night Time is the Right Time, Shake Everything U Got, Pass the Peas, Soul Power tease, Makin My Way Back Home.

Encore: Sam’s Flying Huff Machine, By Any Schmeans Necessary

Click here to download the Lettuce Set

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

Tonight Soulive will take the stage with yet another serving of Lettuce along with a few sides of hip-hop MC Pharoahe Monch and WAX.  Be prepared to be blown away by their spittin’ lyrics and fresh beats.

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March Music Calendar

March 2011 Potential Show Run Down

Calendar updated daily!

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

  • (Free) The Jamie McLean Band @ 315 Bowery
    • John Varvatos Presents: JMB’s 2011 EP Release Party! Free Show! Open Bar!
  • ($10) Red Baraat @ Barbes
  • ($15) Bowlive 2: Soulive w/ Corey Glover & Bernie Worrell @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($33-$95) Tibet House Benefit Concert @ Carnegie Hall
    • Feat: Philip Glass, Tenzin Choegyal, The Flaming Lips, Angelique Kidjo, Taj Mahal, James McCartney, The Roots, Patti Smith, Jesse Smith and Michael Campbell, Michael Stipe
  • ($40-$80) Mahler’s Fourth Symphony @ Avery Fisher Hall

Friday, March 4th, 2011

  • ($7-$10) Official Conspirator After-Show feat. The Manhattan Project @ The Delancey
  • ($15) Bowlive 2: Soulive w/ Robert Randolph & Corey Glover @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($25) Rebelution and Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad @ Irving Plaza
  • ($25) Conspirator @ Gramercy Theatre (Mis Ter Bugsley)
  • ($30) Larry Coryell Power Trio with Victor Bailey & Lenny White @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($40-$80) Mahler’s Fourth Symphony @ Avery Fisher Hall
  • ($40-$45) Dr. John and the Lower 911, Marco Benevento, High and Mighty Brass Band @ Sullivan Hall

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem (late night)
  • ($15) Bowlive 2: Soulive w/ Robert Randolph @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($30) Larry Coryell Power Trio with Victor Bailey & Lenny White @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($40) 5th Annual Nolafunk Mardi Gras Ball: featuring Dr. John & The Lower 911 , Soul Rebels Brass Band and Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds @ Le Poisson Rouge
  • ($40-$80) Mahler’s Fourth Symphony @ Avery Fisher Hall
  • ($41-$331) Bon Jovi @ Madison Square Garden

Sunday, March 6tht, 2011

  • ($30) Larry Coryell Power Trio with Victor Bailey & Lenny White @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($30) Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra @ Birdland NYC
  • ($30) Fred Hersch & Joshua Redman Duo @ Jazz Standard

Monday, March 7th, 2011

  • ($5) London Souls Residency @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($25) Mingus Orchestra @ The Jazz Standard

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Friday, March 11th, 2011

  • (FREE) Tall Tall Trees @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($15) Bowlive 2: Soulive w/ Karl Denson, Van Hunt @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($15) Budos Band @ The Bell House
  • ($18) Tab Benoit & Kung Fu @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($22) Los Amigos Invisibles @ HighLine Ballroom
  • ($25) Devon Allman’s Honeytribe @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($30-$40) Al Dimeola World Sinofina @ The Blue Note
  • ($30-$43) Dropkick Murpheys @ Roseland Ballroom
  • ($35) Pete Yorn with very special guest Ben Kweller @ Terminal 5
  • ($46-$54) Piano Power: Brad Mehldau & Friends w/ Joshua Redman @ Zankle Hall
  • ($59) FURTHUR: Phil Lesh & Bob Weir @ Best Buy Theater
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem (late night)
  • ($15) Bowlive 2: Soulive w/ Matisyahu
  • ($59) FURTHUR: Phil Lesh and Bob Weir @ Best Buy Theater
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater
    • ($10) A Post Furthur and Allman Brothers Band Show w/ Reckoning @ Sullivan Hall
    • ($25) Post Allmans in New York Midnight Concert Series w/ The Yonrico Scott Band featuring Oteil and Kofi Burbridge @ Iridium Jazz Club

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

  • ($7) Afro Funky Party w/ Zongo Junction, Top Shotta & DJ Offbeat @ Cameo Gallery
  • ($30) Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra @ Birdland NYC
  • ($30-$40) Al Dimeola World Sinofina @ The Blue Note (2 shows)
  • ($30-$42) Intimate Solo Acoustic Citizen Cope @ City Winery

Monday, March 14th, 2011

  • ($5) London Souls Residency @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($25) Mingus Orchestra @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($30) Steve Martin performing with The Steep Canyon Rangers: An Evening of Bluegrass & Banjo @ Highline Ballroom
  • ($30-$42) Intimate Solo Acoustic Citizen Cope @ City Winery
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall (late night)
  • ($5) That 1 Guy @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($30-$42) Intimate Solo Acoustic Citizen Cope @ City Winery
  • ($35) Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers @ Joe’s Pub
  • ($59) FURTHUR: Phil Lesh and Bob Weir @ Best Buy Theater
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

  • ($10) Gent Treadly @ The Sugar Bar
  • ($30-$42) Intimate Solo Acoustic Citizen Cope @ City Winery (2 shows)
  • ($35) Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers @ Joe’s Pub
  • ($40) New York Dolls @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($80-$180) Elton John @ Madison Square Garden

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

  • (Free) The Farewell Drifters @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($5) Dead Kenny G’s @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($15) Chris Morrisey Quartet w/ Mark Guiliana @ The Jazz Gallery
  • ($18-$22) JJ Grey(MOFRO) solo acoustic with Shannon McNally @ City Winery
  • ($35) Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers @ Joe’s Pub
  • ($40) New York Dolls @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($50-$93) Celtic Women @ Radio City Music Hall
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater

Friday, March 18th, 2011

  • (Free) Nutritious @ The Cove
  • ($5) The Heavy Pets (GOLDYS BIRTHDAY PARTY) @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($5) Buzz Universe & Afro Skull @ The Bowery Poetry Club
  • ($30) Duduka Da Fonseca Quintet featuring Anat Cohen @ Jazz Standard
  • ($35) FUNK SUMMIT: Leo Nocentelli (The Meters), Bernie Worrell (P-Funk), Fred Wesley (James Brown, P-Funk) @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater
    • ($12) A Post Allman Brothers Band Show featuring Some Cat From Japan: The Music Of Jimi Hendrix featuring Scott Metzger / Will Bernard / Ron Johnson / Eric Bolivar @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($60-$275) Janet Jackson – Number Ones, Up Close and Personal World Tour @ Radio City Music Hall

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

  • (Free) Mark Guiliana @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem (late night)
  • ($10) Anders Osborne w/ Leroy Justice @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($30-$40) Pat Martino Organ Quartet @ Birdland
  • ($35) FUNK SUMMIT: Leo Nocentelli (The Meters), Bernie Worrell (P-Funk), Fred Wesley (James Brown, P-Funk) @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($40) Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater
  • ($60-$275) Janet Jackson – Number Ones, Up Close and Personal World Tour @ Radio City Music Hall

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

  • ($20) Murder By Death @ Rocks Off Cruise
  • ($30) Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra @ Birdland NYC
  • ($60-$200) Diana Ross – Greatest Hits Tour @ St. George Theater, S.I.
  • ($75-$125) Benefit for Cornell Dupree w/ Cornell Dupree, Joe Cocker and Dr. John @ B.B. King Blues Club and Grill
  • ($80-$180) Elton John @ Madison Square Garden

Monday, March 21st, 2011

  • ($5) London Souls Residency @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($10-$17) 101.9 Wrxp 3rd Anniversary Show Feat. Guster @ Irving Plaza
  • ($25) Mingus Dynasty @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($30) Rick Derringer @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($50) Keyshia Cole @ B.B. Kings
  • ($60-$275) Janet Jackson – Number Ones, Up Close and Personal World Tour @ Radio City Music Hall
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall (late night)
  • ($15-$20) Mike Gordon @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($18-$22) Noah and The Whale @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($25-$40) Paula Cole – DIVINALE: A Month of Wine, Women and Song @ City Winery
  • ($40) Charlie Haden Quartet West Celebrates 25th Anniversary With Release of Sophisticated Ladies @ Birdland NYC
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

  • ($10/$12) Heyoka, The Malah, Octopus Nebulae, Tucci @ Public Assembly (Mis Ter Bugsley)
  • ($15) Surprise Me Mr. Davis @ The Bell House
  • ($15-$20) Mike Gordon @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($20-$25) Steve Kimock 2011 NYC Residency w/ special guests Henry Butler , Andy Hess (Gov’t Mule, Black Crowes, John Scofield) and John Morgan Kimock @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($30) Jeff Lorber Fusion @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($40) Charlie Haden Quartet West Celebrates 25th Anniversary With Release of Sophisticated Ladies @ Birdland NYC

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

  • ($10) The Macpodz and Sister Sparrow And The Dirty Birds @ Studio at Webster Hall
  • ($25) James Blood Ulmer with The Memphis Blood Blues Band featuring Vernon Reid @ Jazz Standard
  • ($30) Jeff Lorber Fusion @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($40) Charlie Haden Quartet West Celebrates 25th Anniversary With Release of Sophisticated Ladies @ Birdland NYC
  • ($40-$52) Cold War Kids @ Radio City Music Hall
  • ($40-$80) Hungarian Echoes IV: Bartók’s First Piano Concerto @ Avery Fisher Hall
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater

Friday, March 25th, 2011

  • ($??) Mahavishnu Project plays Jeff Beck (Wired, Blow By Blow, There & Back) @ Iridium Jazz Club
    • DVD Release Event for “Jeff Beck: Live at Iridium” [free DVD giveaways]
  • ($12) A Post Furthur & Allman Brothers Band Show featuring Some Cat From Japan: The Music Of Jimi Hendrix featuring Nigel Hall , Scott Metzger , Will Bernard , Ron Johnson , Eric Bolivar @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($18-$20) The Wood Brothers with Carsie Blanton @ City Winery (2 shows)
  • ($20) Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($25) James Blood Ulmer with The Memphis Blood Blues Band featuring Vernon Reid @ Jazz Standard
  • ($25) Post Allmans in New York Midnight Concert Series Col. Bruce Hampton and Pharoah Gummitt Featuring Duane Trucks @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($30) Steve Smith, Jon Herington and Col. Bruce Hampton @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($32.50) Victor Wooten and Stanley Clarke @ BB Kings
  • ($40) Charlie Haden Quartet West Celebrates 25th Anniversary With Release of Sophisticated Ladies @ Birdland NYC
  • ($40-$47) Queens of the Stone Age @ Terminal 5
  • ($40-$80) Hungarian Echoes IV: Bartók’s First Piano Concerto @ Avery Fisher Hall
  • ($50-$60) Don McLean with Special Guest Dar Williams @ Town Hall
  • ($50-$84) Furthur @ Radio City Music Hall
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem (late night)
  • ($10) A Post Furthur and Allman Brothers Show with Reflections @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($15-$20) Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($25) James Blood Ulmer with The Memphis Blood Blues Band featuring Vernon Reid @ Jazz Standard
  • ($35) Hubert Sumlin Band @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($40) Charlie Haden Quartet West Celebrates 25th Anniversary With Release of Sophisticated Ladies @ Birdland NYC
  • ($40-$80) Hungarian Echoes IV: Bartók’s First Piano Concerto @ Avery Fisher Hall
  • ($45-$65) Afro-Cuban All Stars @ The Concert Hall
  • ($50-$84) Furthur @ Radio City Music Hall
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater
  • ($100-$175) Rod Stewart / Stevie Nicks – Heart and Soul Tour @ Madison Square Garden

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

  • ($8-$10) Dangermuffin @ The Rock Shop
  • ($25) Hubert Sumlin Band @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($25) James Blood Ulmer with The Memphis Blood Blues Band featuring Vernon Reid @ Jazz Standard
  • ($30) Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra @ Birdland NYC
  • ($40) Harlem Gospel Choir @ BB Kings
  • ($50-$84) Furthur @ Radio City Music Hall

Monday, March 28th, 2011

  • ($5) London Souls Residency @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($25) Mingus Orchestra @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($25) New Sounds Live: So Percussion and Bobby Previte with John Medeski, Zeena Parkins, DJ Olive & Jen Shyu @ Merkin Concert Hall
  • ($35) Hubert Sumlin Band @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($40-$47) LCD Soundsystem @ Terminal 5
  • ($50-$117) Jeff Beck and Rock N Roll Party w/ Imelda May & Her Band @ Radio City Music Hall

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall (late night)
  • ($5) BoomBox @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($12-$65) Medeski Martin & Dunn, John Zorn & MASADA Marathon @ David H. Koch Theater
    • Featuring: Marc Ribot, Uri Caine, Dave Douglas, John Medeski, Secret Chiefs 3, Greg Cohen, Joey Baron, Cyro Baptista, Kenny Wollesen, Jamie Saft, Erik Friedlander, Mark Feldman, Sylvie Courvoisier, Trevor Dunn, and many others
  • ($20) Billy Martin w/ Dj Oliver and Ikue @ The Stone
  • ($30-$40) Kevin Eubanks Trio @ Birdland NYC
  • ($40-$47) LCD Soundsystem @ Terminal 5
  • ($55-$65) Billy Bragg – At Home In The City W/ Special guest Ben Sollee @ City Winery

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

  • ($20) Steve Kimock 2011 NYC Residency with special guests Marco Benevento , Marc Friedman (The Slip) , Adam Deitch (Lettuce, Breakscience) @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($25) Reggie Watts @Music Hall of Williamsburg
  • ($30-$40) Kevin Eubanks Trio @ Birdland NYC
  • ($35-$60) Aaron Neville @ BB Kings Blues Club
  • ($40-$47) LCD Soundsystem @ Terminal 5
  • ($55-$65) Billy Bragg – At Home In The City W/ Special guest Ben Sollee @ City Winery

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

  • ($20) Mimosa @ Irving Plaza (Mis Ter Bugsley)
  • ($27.50) Tim Reynolds @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($30-$40) Kevin Eubanks Trio @ Birdland NYC
  • ($40-$47) LCD Soundsystem @ Terminal 5
  • ($55-$65) Billy Bragg – At Home In The City W/ Special guest Ben Sollee @ City Winery

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Big Sam’s Funky Nation…Surrender Your Dance Floors

(By: Brett B.)

Big Sam's Funky Nation (cd release) @ Sullivan Hall

Big Sam's Funky Nation - Sullivan Hall, NYC 4/16/10

Full Rager!

Full Rager!

How seriously do I take funk and soul music?  Ask my kids what the greatest song ever written is and they will tell you without hesitation, “Isaac Hayes. ‘Theme from SHAFT‘.  I have the STAX record label tattooed on my arm.  And I skipped my high school prom in 1978 to see Earth, Wind & Fire, The Commodores and LTD at the San Diego Sports Arena.

For a white guy from the suburbs of Virginia, I don’t fool around when it comes to soul music. So, when I say to you I have seen the future of funk and his name is Big Sam Williams, you might want to take a moment and listen to what the man has to say.

Hailing from the magical city of New Orleans, Big Sam’s Funky Nation has spent the last few years bringing their Gospel of Boogie to every stage they can find. Like a soul-fueled juggernaut of tight horn charts and make your ass sweat on the dance floor bass beats, the Funky Nation is the kind of rhythmic unit that used to back greats like James Brown, Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett.

Say Hi to Big Sam

Big Sam is King

But it’s truly all about the Big Man. From the smile that hypnotizes to the dapper hat that makes him the envy of any haberdashery fan around to his skills on the trombone, he is the “total” performance package.

But then he starts to move. And I mean he moves like liquid mercury bopping and popping to the heat from the Funky Nation behind him. And I would be remiss in not mentioning the Nation:

Takeshi Shimmura – Guitar
Eric Vogell – Bass
Drummer Boy Milk Williams – Drums
Andrew Da Phessah Drew Baham – Vocal/Trumpet

This band follows Big Sam wherever and whenever the Cat In The Hat leads them. Whether it’s a water park in New Jersey or a gospel set in a hundred degree heat in a tent at Bonnaroo.

Once upon a time there were bands with horns who sang songs of positivity and hope. Who played songs that made you dance the night away. Songs about love not just about sex. These were bands like Earth, Wind & Fire, Chicago, Sly & The Family Stone and The Commdores.

Big Sam's Funky Nation

Big Sam's Funky Nation

So, it is fitting that the band who most truly seems to follow the philosophies and putting forth the same messages of love and enjoying life to the fullest named their most recent album, KING OF THE PARTY.

Because for the citizens of Big Sam’s Funky Nation the party never stops and the cry of “Long live the King!” will be heard as long they can dance.

Read about Big Sam’s Funky Nation Album “King of the Party” Release Party @ Sullivan Hall (04.16.10)

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