Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Labor Day Weekend Live

Depending on your work status or whether you have children who started school already, Labor Day Weekend has traditionally been viewed as "the end of Summer."  With 3 shows in 3 nights, The Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme is doing its best to make sure it's a memorable weekend.

On Thursday September 3, the venue welcomes the Power Quintet, 5 musicians (pictured above) who have made and continue to make a big impression on the jazz scene. Composed of vibraphonist Steve Nelson (Dave Holland bands), trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, pianist Danny Grissett (Tom Harrell Quintet), bassist Peter Washington (Bill Charlap Trio), and drummer Bill Stewart (John Scofield, Larry Goldings), this band brings not only year of experience but also 5 different approaches to the music. The blend of Nelson's "cool" vibes and Pelt's brash trumpet (although he does have a handsome melodic side) makes for exciting music and add Grissett's excellent playing, the front line is well covered.  Washington and Stewart are much in-demand for the excellent "ears" and ability to fit into many musical situations.

The doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the Power Quintet takes the stage at 8:30.

Since he first came onto the music scene in 2008, fresh out of the New England Conservatory of Music, tenor saxophonist Noah Preminger has impressed audiences and critics alike with how he approaches jazz. The Canton, CT, native has always sounded so mature, not settling for cliches or following the latest trends, with a penchant for ballads and creative interactions.

Preminger has a new quartet, Pivot, a new CD, "Live at The 55 Bar" (release date is October 6), and a new approach.  Having seen and heard the young saxophonist in a number of different musical settings, "pivot" is the proper description for his latest musical venture. The band - Jason Palmer (trumpet), Ian Froman (drums) and Kim Cass (bass) - reach back to the halcyon days of the Ornate Coleman Quartet and the John Coltrane Quartet and let it rip.  The CD has just 2 tracks, both over 30 minutes long and both based on classic blues songs ("Fixin' To Die" and "Parchman Farm Blues") and the results are as breathtaking as they are powerful.

For the Friday night Old Lyme gig, Preminger and Palmer (a delightful young player in his one right) will be joined by bassist Sean Conly and the ever-swinging Matt Wilson at the drums. As above, the band starts playing at 8:30 p.m.

The Saturday night performer at The Side Door is the singer and songwriter Somi.  Born in Illinois to parents who came to this country from Rwanda and Uganda, Somi, over the course of 4 CDs, has proven herself to be a strong vocalist and smart composer.  Her latest recording, "The Lagos Music Salon", is the result of moving to Nigeria and getting involved in the incredible African music scene - the recording blends myriad influences and is a soulful, mature, group of songs, some with pointed topics.

She's bringing her splendid band including Toru Dodo (piano), Ben Williams (bass), the inventive guitarist Liberty Ellman, and a drummer yet to be announced.  This show should be fascinating! Give a listen.

For more information about the weekend in Old Lyme, go to the sidedoorjazz.com.

Organist (and Meriden CT native) Brian Charette, one of the busiest keyboard artists on the scene at the moment, comes back to Connecticut on Saturday night (9/5) to reunite with 2 musicians he played many a local gig with in the 1990s.  One of the best jazz-fusion groups, Street Temperature won numerous local awards for their innovative and exciting music.  Guitarist Frank Varela and drummer Rick Marshall, who still perform together in the guitarist's fine Trio, join their keyboard friend for an evening of blues-based jams at Black Eyed Sally's, 350 Asylum Street in Hartford.They'll hit the stage at 9:30 p.m. and the music will flow until 'round midnight.

To find out more, go to blackeyedsallys.com.

To get you in the mood, here's Brian C from his new PosiTone Records CD, "Alphabet City" with his trio of guitarist Will Bernard and drummer-extraordinaire Rudy Royston!

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