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Jeff Nania

Email: jeff.nania@gmail.com

Jeff Nania

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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

90 Miles featuring Stefon Harris, Nicholas Payton and David Sanchez

by Jeff Nania April 24, 2013

  “It’s always a good sign when a jazz band tunes up,” Stefon Harris said as the group centered themselves, and then dipped right into their emphatic Afro-Cuban opener, “E’cha.” Trumpeter Nicholas Payton’s solo on this one ...

Picotte Recital Hall

Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Hero Award Celebration

by Jeff Nania April 17, 2013

  “I hereby proclaim April 15th Tim Coakley day here in Schenectady,” said Schenectady city Mayor Gary McCarthy as he made a proclamation honoring Coakley for his contributions to the local jazz scene. Coakley is a local ...

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Tony Levin and the Stick Men

by Jeff Nania March 28, 2013

The setup was reminiscent of a power trio, but the band actually were far from that. Both Tony Levin and Markus Reuter play Chapman Stick-style guitar-ish instruments where the main mode of sound production is ...

Bucky Pizzarelli, Frank Vignola, Vinny Raniolo

by Jeff Nania March 13, 2013

“What do you wanna play, Bucky? Let's have a union meeting,” Frank Vignola joked. “Nuages,” he replied as he started off solo on the Django Reinhardt classic. Bucky Pizzarelli, Frank Vignola, and Vinny Raniolo were all ...

R.U. Ready?

by Jeff Nania March 6, 2013

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  When the exhibition-performance was ready to begin, the humans in attendance were herded into a line as recordings played over the house loudspeaker from “the machine.” Instructions like “you can help by not helping” were ...

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The Wood Brothers

by Jeff Nania February 28, 2013

“I played in the big Egg a few times,” Chris Wood mentioned after a few opening tunes with the Wood Brothers, his project away from Medeski, Martin and Wood. “This is like . . . ...

Hot Club of Detroit

by Jeff Nania February 7, 2013

“If anyone needs any papers typed just ask Julien—he does like 300 words per minute,” joked Hot Club Of Detroit's lead guitarist and front man Evan Perri after a blazing solo from their accordionist Julien ...

Joe Lovano Us Five

by Jeff Nania January 24, 2013

Anything goes with these five. Us Five, that is—Joe Lovano’s newest supergroup that leveled the Egg this past weekend. This group explore the outer limits of creative improvisation in a postmodern rhythmic soundscape where dueling ...

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De La Soul

by Jeff Nania December 6, 2012

“You all like anything that's out now?” Trugoy asked the crowd. “I'm trying to figure if there's anything out I should listen to.” The crowd shouted back a few names, and he agreed to a ...