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Jeff Nania

Email: jeff.nania@gmail.com

Jeff Nania

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


  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


  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


  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 ...


Terry Gordon Quintet

by Jeff Nania June 13, 2013


  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


  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


  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 ...


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 ...

Railbird EP Release

by Jeff Nania December 6, 2012

Railbird's homecoming Friday night at Valentine's saw them perform all three songs from their newly released EP, Lucky, as well as new interpretations of some of their most popular tunes from their album No One. Local ...

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Pedrito Martinez Quartet

by Jeff Nania November 21, 2012

Pedrito Martinez is no stranger to the Capital Region. He brought his group with pianist Ariacne Trujillo, Percussionist Jhair Sala, and bassist Alvaro Benevides to Mountain Jam,  SPAC Jazz Fest, and Albany Riverfront Jazz Fest ...

Robert Glasper Experiment

by Jeff Nania October 11, 2012

Robert Glasper’s newest release, Black Radio, has a lot of great stuff on it, but one of the things it doesn’t have much of is extended improvisational sections. This show at the Egg featured material ...

Medeski Martin & Wood

by Jeff Nania October 4, 2012


  Medeski Martin & Wood are at a hopeless point of their career. Not the way you may think, though; bassist Chris Wood says that this is a positive thing. They have reached a point where ...

Picotte Recital Hall