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Jeff Nania

Email: jeff.nania@gmail.com

Jeff Nania

Keys to Success

by Jeff Nania December 18, 2014

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  “Sometimes I’ll put on a tiger mask and want to dance around on stage and be a freak and wear red pants,” Marco Benevento says as he talks about the freedom he has come to ...

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Sounds in Words

by Jeff Nania December 4, 2014

  You have to be careful about what musicians say. This was one of the most valuable pieces of advice anyone ever gave me. It has always helped me to stay focused when writing about music. It’s ...

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Mandela Celebration

by Jeff Nania November 26, 2014

  This past Saturday saw an incredible outpouring of positivity and inspiration that was generated in response to the dreams and reality of Nelson Mandela. The evening featured original works by the artist known as HA!Man (Francois ...

0 comments GE Theatre at Proctors

Arch Stanton Quartet

by Jeff Nania November 20, 2014

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  Blues For Soli is The Arch Stanton Quartet's sophomore release, which comes two years after their first record, and a year after the group collectively traveled to Egypt for a cultural exchange which featured a ...

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Marco Benevento

by Jeff Nania November 13, 2014

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  “Don’t sit down on them . . . what you’re feeling,” Marco Benevento sings on "If I Get to See You at All" from his newest record, Swift. This seems like an apt message for ...

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OK Go

by Jeff Nania October 23, 2014

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  The musicians start playing, lights are flashing, confetti is flying, bass is thumping, and camera phones go up in the air to snap a shot. When the lights finally settle, the crowd goes wild as OK ...

0 comments The Upstate Concert Hall

Alexis Cole Quintet

by Jeff Nania October 23, 2014

  “In addition to being my first time here, it's also my first time playing a full night of music with Harold Mabern,” Cole said. The group featuring Mabern on piano, saxophonist Eric Alexander, bassist David ...

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Stefon Harris and Nouveau Soul

by Jeff Nania October 9, 2014

  The group began the night with Stefon Harris' arrangement of Horace Silver's “Cape Verdean Blues,” which morphed its way through alternate feels and time signatures and culminated with an impressive drum solo by Jonathan Pinson ...

1 comment GE Theatre at Proctors

Matt Garrison

by Jeff Nania September 25, 2014

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  Saxophonist Matt Garrison’s newest album is a collection of tunes and arrangements he has put together over a 15-year period. It features straight-ahead boppish originals like “Steppin Up,” standards like Lee Morgan’s “Ceora,” and pop ...

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Clifton Anderson Quintet

by Jeff Nania September 18, 2014

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  A Place for Jazz opened its 2014 season with one of the most melodic trombonists and composers on the scene today, who also happens to be jazz royalty. Clifton Anderson may have made a name ...

1 comment A Place for Jazz

John Davey

by Jeff Nania June 5, 2014

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  Bassist and composer John Davey's newest album Open Range is a worthwhile listen. He is joined by guitarist Ken McBain and drummer Dean Sharp for 12 songs in the guitar-trio idiom.  Davey's upright bass always ...

Dave Holland with the Empire Jazz Orchestra

by Jeff Nania April 17, 2014

  The Empire Jazz Orchestra are this region's premier repertory Jazz Big Band. Their conductor Bill Meckley always puts together larger-than-life playlists for the group to perform, and this night was no different. Before the heroic guest ...

Come Together (Over Robots)

by Jeff Nania March 27, 2014

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  “We’ve all had cool gigs in Schenectady,” guitarist Pat Metheny said when he first addressed the crowd. After making the album Unity Band in 2012 with saxophonist Chris Potter, drummer Antonio Sanchez, and bassist Ben ...

1 comment Proctors

Pat Metheny Unity Band

by Jeff Nania March 26, 2014

  “We've all had cool gigs in Schenectady,” guitarist Pat Metheny said when he first addressed the crowd. After making the album Unity Band in 2012 with saxophonist Chris Potter, drummer Antonio Sanchez, and bassist Ben ...

Stacy Dillard and Victor Gould

by Jeff Nania February 27, 2014

  Saxophonist Stacy Dillard and pianist Victor Gould are not complete newcomers to the Capital Region. Dillard made an appearance at last year’s Freihofer’s Jazz Festival with Ben Williams and Sound Effect, and both Dillard and ...

The Wooten Brothers

by Jeff Nania December 19, 2013

  “All we need is a drummer,” keyboardist-vocalist Joseph Wooten said after taking a selfie from center stage. His brother, Roy “Future Man” Wooten, walked on and started a funk groove from his drumset. Victor and ...

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Mundo Nuevo

by Jeff Nania December 19, 2013

  The sounds of Mundo Nuevo inspired women and men alike to get up from their seats and dance through Carmen's Cafe in Troy, while steaming-hot plates of Cuban fare graced the tables Friday night. Carmen's ...

That Back-Home Sound

by Jeff Nania November 6, 2013

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  It’s a strange contradiction of feelings. On the one hand, we local music fans root for our hometown heroes, cheer for them to bust through that glass ceiling of regionalism and earn that national audience ...

Mark Kleinhaut and Neil Lamb

by Jeff Nania October 16, 2013

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  The catchiest tune on Mark Kleinhaut and Neil Lamb's new duo guitar album is easily “Trickster.” Its short start-stop intro leads into a melody that chugs along on a dancing minor groove, which gives Lamb ...

Joe Magnarelli and Jerry Weldon

by Jeff Nania September 25, 2013

  The group opened with Jimmy Heath’s “Gingerbread Boy” with Joe Magnarelli leading the charge and quoting from Sonny Rollins’ “Blue Seven.” In fact, the whole night was full of quoting from popular tunes of the ...

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John Scofield Überjam Band

by Jeff Nania September 18, 2013

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  The show opened, and there was John Scofield with a Telecaster and Avi Bortnick with a Stratocaster along with a table of sampling machines. Bortnick used the the rig to conjure surging organ sounds during ...

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Freihofer’s Jazz Fest

by Jeff Nania July 2, 2013

The SPAC jazz fest is always keen to host the supergroups of the jazz world, and this year they did so with the likes of the Cookers—a cast that features George Cables, Cecil McBee and ...

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Terry Gordon Quintet

by Jeff Nania June 13, 2013

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  Tomorrow Calling is the Terry Gordon Quintet's fourth release overall and the second on WEPA records. This group's strengths are many, from the proven writing skills of Gordon and saxophonist Eric Walentowicz, to the always-fiery ...

Michael-Louis Smith

by Jeff Nania June 13, 2013

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  Michael-Louis Smith's newest album is a beautiful narrative about the passion, pain,and resilience of the “First Black Nation,” Haiti, and specifically its recent struggle with the earthquake in January 2010. In the age of the ...

Wilson “Chembo” Corniel, Afro Blue Monk Live

by Jeff Nania June 5, 2013

  This night saw new interpretations of classic Thelonious Monk and Mongo Santamaria tunes as well as pieces by greats like Chucho Valdez, Wayne Shorter, and originals by the group’s pianist Elio Villafranca. The evening began with ...