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Jimmy Cobb’s So What Band

For anyone born this side of the last century, it’s difficult to properly understand just how important Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue was upon its release in 1959. The record is now virtually synonymous with jazz itself, but there’s probably only one person left living who can explain the essence of that record—not to mention, still play all the fills—and that’s drummer Jimmy Cobb.

One by one, Davis’ legendary ensemble has succumbed to the passage of time, and now Cobb, in his 80s, has decided to revisit the most important recording of his career (and the best selling jazz record of all time) with a new ensemble that is specifically geared to it. Dubbed the So What Band, for the album’s most famous cut, the group features Larry Willis on piano, Buster Williams on bass, Vincent Herring and Javon Jackson on saxophones, and Jeremy Pelt in Davis’ trumpet chair.

Jimmy Cobb’s So What Band comes to the Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany) tonight (Feb. 10) at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $34.50. Call 473-1845 for more info.

Capital Region Wine Festival

Wine enthusiasts, gourmands and art lovers will unite at Proctors this weekend for Romancing the Grape, the Captial Region Wine Festival. The gala event features an international array of reserve wines and delicacies from the Electric City’s top restaurants—all to benefit Proctors and “continue the dream of bringing art, entertainment and education to the community.”

Friday evening begins with wine, hors d’oeuvres and smooth jazz from Sonny and Perley in the historic theater. Following the reception, festivalgoers can indulge in a dinner package from the Schenectady restaurant of their choice: Bangkok Bistro, Cella Bistro or Waters Edge. Tickets are going fast (the reservation book at Aperitivo has already filled up), so snap them up while you can.

The festivities continue Saturday with a Grand Tasting, featuring tastings from a full house of wineries, more restaurant samplings, a silent auction and a complimentary wine seminar.

Romancing the Grape, the Capital Region Wine Festival kicks off at Proctors (432 State St., Schenectady) tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 11) at 6 PM and continues into the evening at area restaurants. The Grand Tasting takes place Saturday (Feb. 12) from 1 PM to 4 PM. Admission to the opening reception is $40; tickets for the reception and the Romancing the Grape dining package, which includes dinner at the restaurant of your choice, are $75 plus gratuity. Tickets to Saturday’s Grand tasting are $55, $25 for a wine-free, designated driver pass. For more info, or to make reservations, call the Proctors box office at 346-6204.

Proof

When Proof, David Auburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play about faith, fact and the delicate boundary between genius and madness, opened on Broadway a decade ago it swept the major awards and won the hearts of theatergoers and critics alike.

In Chicago, the bright and troubled Catherine dropped out of college and spent years caring for her mathematician father. On the eve of her 25th birthday, following his death, she is forced to face down love, family, her own volatility—and 103 notebooks containing the unexplored details of her father’s brilliant work and excruciating instability.

“Less about its ballyhooed higher mathematics than the fragility of life and love,” wrote the New York Observer, this “fine and tender play . . . surprises us with its aliveness and intelligent modesty.”

The intimate script gives the cast and crew of ACT stalwarts a chance to shine with the material they do best—character-driven stories that explore the understated complexity of human relationships and individual spirit.

Proof opens at Albany Civic Theater (235 2nd Ave., Albany) tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 11) at 8 PM and runs through Feb. 27. Tickets are $15, $10 for students; government workers can purchase two tickets for $15 with valid ID. For more info, or to purchase tickets, call the ACT box office at 462-1297.


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