Tag Archives | jazz standards
Friday, January 26, 2018 8p
With Kerri Powers
Infinity Music Hall
20 W. Greenwoods Road (Rt. 44), Norfolk, CT
The Art of Storytelling
Vance Gilbert Works His Magic at the Historic Infinity Hall
His reputation precedes him. But that’s no reason to let an opportunity to see Vance Gilbert pass you by! Fresh off a tour of Australia, Vance has for some time now been a major mover of the singer-songwriter scene. His penchant for storytelling, mingled with his terrific sense of humor makes a Gilbert gig a lively event indeed. And, oh by the way, if you’ve heard the man’s latest album, Nearness of You—or any of his albums for that matter—you know he can sing.
Gilbert was born and raised in the Philly area and he started his career in Boston aspiring to be a jazz singer. But things happened, and he soon found himself in the warm embrace of the singer-songwriter world, opening for folks like Shawn Colvin and later comedians George Carlin and Paul Reiser. One of those shows, in Dallas, earned him some good press from the local paper: “With the voice of an angel, the wit of a devil, and the guitar playing of a god, it was enough to earn him that rarity: an encore for an opener.” Of course, that was ages ago. But the fact is, Gilbert has only gotten to be a more engaging performer, with beautiful, worldly stories, finely honed guitar technique, and a voice that delivers.
Over two decades-plus in the music business, Vance has produced a healthy helping of great recordings, including the widely raved about BaD Dog Buffet. Old White Men hit the Top 10 on the Folk DJ chart on its release and Unfamiliar Moon landed in the Boston Globe’s Top 10 Records of the Year upon its release in 2005. Perhaps most importantly for the purposes of this particular press release is the fact that Vance’s live album, Somerville Live, issued in 2000, was described by the Boston Globe as a work “young songwriters should study the way law students cram for bar exams.” And we haven’t even talked about Nearness of You, which features Vance singing stripped down versions of 14 of his jazz faves.
Vance’s upcoming gig at Infinity Hall will be reliably memorable. His show is entertaining, his stories are by turns funny and poignant, and his music, above all, is well worth hearing.
Mixed Media Client since: 2017
“Listening to Farell is like stepping back in Time, to mid-20th Century America, when Jazz and Romance were popular. His Sounscapes are like Odes to Love…Farell’s “Distant Song” provides enough soothing sounds for listeners to ponder the Human condition…He is joined by Dave Liebman on soprano & tenor Saxophones, and by Richie Beirach on acoustic Piano.”
“…FARELL is the real deal in terms of Sincerity, his voice speaks authority as does the tender Truth expressed in his Lyrics…and musical arrangements…A performance that regularly stops you…in your tracks…”
“Fred Farell’s new CD is rewarding on several levels. His lyrics for the songs of Dave Liebman and Richie Beirach show that the instrumental pieces are surprisingly singable, adding to the jazz vocal repertoire. His singing is warm, quietly expressive, and really gets into the messages of the songs. And the playing of Liebman and Beirach is as creative as ever. Their fans will find much to enjoy on this rewarding set.”
Vocalist Fred Farell’s latest project Distant Song captures the music of Liebman and Beirach beautifully. Farell didn’t merely copy Liebman’s and Beirach’s compositions, he added sublime lyrics and a magically ethereal vocal style.
Image from HighResAudio.
Papatamus April 2016
Step right up folks lets see who has the last recording PHIL WOODS [as] made before he died. The January 2016 Papatamus covered 2, one on Chiaroscuro from 6/13 and one from Deer Head Records from 11/10/14 (Woods died 9/29/15 and he was active almost up to that date). Now Whaling City Sound has issued a double CD, KINDRED SPIRITS LIVE AT CHAN’S [WCS 077], with WOODS, GREG ABATE [as/ss], Tim Ray [p], John Lockwood [b], and Mark Walker [drm]. The 2 sets [2:04:02] here were recorded 8/11/14 and as one might suspect it is yet another fine Woods date spurned on by another front line saxman. I did not realize how close in sound Abate was to Woods and I would have guessed my ear could have picked out one from another but I could not always. Fortunately Whaling City has provided help in identifying who is playing when. Oddly, Whaling City has chosen to put intros and some stage gab at the end of each disc and here there is no doubt whose voice is whose. What is not a surprise is how good the music is as both saxmen have good track records; Abate continuing his and Woods strong to the last moment. 13 standards and some chatter familiar and fine. ~rdr