Tag Archives | sense of humor

1/26 8p: Vance Gilbert @Infinity Music Hall, Norfolk, CT

Friday, January 26, 2018 8p

Vance Gilbert

With Kerri Powers

Infinity Music Hall

20 W. Greenwoods Road (Rt. 44), Norfolk, CT

phone: 860-542-5531

Price: $24.00



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.

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Dave Liebman on Phil Woods: “This is a special one…”

“…because my family has been living in Phil’s corner of the Poconos for 30 years and though we were not buddy/buddy, we had interaction. He passed like he lived…completely on his own terms. Lucid and clear yesterday, we reminisced about Cleanhead Vinson, Johnny Hodges, etc., with his unusual special brand of jazz humor right till the end, making a brave decision to call the whole thing off.
I can tell you a few things about Phil:
-When you played next to him you couldn’t hear yourself.  That’s what comes with years of playing and insisting on acoustic when plausible.
-His solo on Billy Joel’s hit tune (“Just the Way You Are”) is probably the most famous “jazz,” tinged solo in pop-music history, proving that bebop can prevail anywhere, anytime.
-When you say, “lead alto” in a big band setting, there is only one; he set the mold with his sound and phrasing.
-He, along with Cannonball and a few others took Bird to a logical extension, paving the way for Trane to go further.
-Married and had a family with Bird’s wife;  followed by the fantastic lady Jill Goodwin.
-His sense of humor and prose writing abilities were special, always with great insight, and a healthy dose of sarcasm pertaining to the state of the world and life in general, peppered with keen insights into the people he dealt with. Basically Phil couldn’t and wouldn’t abide by any bullshit…calling it like it is and was.
-Along with a few other local heroes they started an ongoing jazz festival, a summer camp, and involvement with local high schools out here in our hood.
-Phil was the epitome of a jazz warrior; ON THE ROAD when it was his time.
-The maestro could play clarinet, good piano, and write for any combination.
-His summer workshop in the early 60’s near New Hope, PA was a forerunner of what I for one do every summer.
Phil did his job. He brought light, sanity and wisdom to us all.
Rest in peace.” ~Dave Liebman
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