performance review

Performance Review
9:42 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Review: Pat Metheny Unity Group at the Paramount Theater, 3/7/14

Metheny's custom built 42 string Pikasso guitar: four sets of strings crisscrossing the body and two necks

     The Group is back. Sort of. For virtually his entire career, Pat Metheny has bounced back and forth between the highly successful Pat Metheny Group and a wide array of projects under his own name. Ever since the Group’s eponymous 1978 release, the personnel in the Pat Metheny Group constantly evolved. Besides Metheny, however, one player remained constant: keyboard player Lyle Mays; i.e.: no Mays, no PMG. The last Pat Metheny Group album was The Way Up from 2005. Mays and Metheny haven’t recorded together since.

Read more
Music
3:37 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Tedeschi Trucks Band, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, and JJ Grey and Mofro

Tedeschi Trucks Band
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
JJ Grey and Mofro
Red Rocks
June 15, 2013
 

Read more
Music
3:33 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Hush Point -- Album Review

Hush Point’s debut self-titled album, released in May 21, 2013, is a breath of fresh air in today’s jazz scene. Hush Point is a group – consisting of alto saxophonist Jeremy Udden, trumpeter John McNeil, bassist Aryeh Kobrinsky, and drummer Vinnie Sperrazza – that really functions as a band, not just a collection of individual musicians brought together for a recording date. The album not only features tunes by Udden, McNeil, and Kobrinsky, but also has extensive collective improvisation. The effortlessly blending of their individual voices during collective improvisation illustrates how in tune with each others’ thought processes this group is. The band’s near-telepathic communicative ability is especially evident on the album’s opening tune, a rendition of Jimmy Guiffre’s “Iranic.” Hush Point plays this song as a piece about dialogue, alternating moments of call-and-response with counterpoint playing. By placing this song as the album’s first track, Hush Point is showing the listener how important playing and improvising together as a group is for this band. The album’s second piece, a bouncy playful McNeil number called “Peachful,” highlights the group dynamic again with a contrapuntal section by McNeil and Udden, filled with fluttering improvised lines from both. McNeil and Udden’s comfort playing together also comes through very clearly on McNeil’s “Finely Done,” in which both horn players echo and complete each other’s melodic ideas like a married couple finishing each other’s sentences.

Read more
Music
3:27 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

The Chicago Blues Festival on a Budget

You want grit and bravado as your background for blues music, so check out the Chicago Blues Festival, an annual free 3-day music presentation in downtown’s Grant Park held the first full weekend of June. This is a great site for visitors: you’ve got the lakefront to the East, the Loop to the immediate West, and the beautiful city skyline to the North. And to the immediate South, the museums and the end or beginning of the Illinois Central, the rail line that brought the emigrating blues man from the rural States of the South to the industrial North for increased opportunity, equality, and freedom. This is the center of contemporary Blues music.

Read more
Music
12:42 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters at Red Rocks, Denver July 10, 2013

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters at Red Rocks, Denver July 10, 2013

         

Sometimes a man has to get back to his roots. After several years, a couple albums and a couple tours exploring American folk, roots and country music, Robert Plant has returned to the music that first grabbed him as a teenager in the early ‘60s. The blues provided the underpinnings of Led Zeppelin’s early heavy metal sound and Plant has been revisiting his home base on his current tour by revivifying many of Zeppelin’s original mainstays.

Read more

Pages