You might hear Jay Rodriguez and wonder, “Is there anything you can’t do?” The fact is, it might be tough to track down something along Jay’s musical continuum that he hasn’t done. A versatile bandleader, with flute, clarinet and saxophone chops, the Colombia-born, New York City-bred musician is profoundly talented and incredibly prolific. Since graduating from the New York School of Performing Arts and attending the New School of Jazz at its inception alongside Larry Goldings, Brad Mehldau and Roy Hargrove. He has had musical adventures in salsa with Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, Paquito D’Rivera, pop/hip-hop with Prince, Guru, the Wu-Tang Clan, DJ Premier and Groove Collective, straight-ahead with Doc Cheatham, Mingus Big Band, David Murray, Craig Harris, Jason Miles and Miles Davis. He has played alongside Joe Lovano, Gil Evans, Elvis Costello, Stevie Wonder, Bernie Worrell and Joan Osborne, to name a few. His original work is daring, groovy, breathtaking and soulful, sometimes all at once. His new recording, Your Sound: Live at Dizzy’s Club, captures all of lovely rawness in real time. Accompanied by Billy Harper on tenor sax, Larry Willis on piano. Eric Wheeler on bass, JT Lewis on drums and percussionist Billy Martin, Rodriguez frees himself up to showcase his work on saxes, flutes, and bass clarinet. The result is magical. Over his career, Rodriguez has tackled composition, arranging, accompanying, and leading. It is high time for the world to hear all the wonderful things Jay Rodriguez—musician, personality, iconoclast, and innovator—has to offer.
WBGO News Monday 2/19 to plug Jay Rodriguez’s album release with a track for Nate Chinen’s Take Five! Confirmed!
Jay Rodriguez will be featured in the “Keeping Live Jazz Alive” benefit taking place at the Southampton Arts Center on February 3 at 6pm.
As seasoned and important players on the national and international trad jazz scenes, Sheryl Bailey and Harvie S—known together as Plucky Strum—made real impact with their recent eponymous debut, a work which showcased discerning talent and true creative craft.
On their follow-up, the aptly named Departure, Harvie and Bailey dig a little deeper, engaging in some creative improvisation and interplay. Those familiar with their work—Harvie has played with many of the greats, including Jim Hall, Larry Coryell, Pat Martino, Gil Evans and Thad Jones—will love how they’ve enhanced the adventure here, filtering in Sheryl’s electric guitar with subtle electronics, clever bebop excursions and some stellar, simpatico interplay that takes the duo into exhilarating sonic regions.
All in all, Departure is accomplished and masterful. The material is bravely selected and boldly performed. The recording is balanced and skillfully produced, with lovely mixing and mastering. Interpretations, like CSN’s “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” with Harvie’s bowed bass lines and Sheryl’s tactile exploration, is one example, but there are many equally wonderful examples on the record, all of which deserve to be heard. This is major league stuff, brilliant and beautiful.
Plucky Strum Review Jazz Podium
SHERYL BAILEY GETS PLAYFUL AND VIRTUOSIC AT THE BULLS HEAD
Although guitarist Sheryl Bailey and bassist Harvie S have been neighbors for years and have gigged together, recording a duo session together is an idea that didn’t materialize until Bailey acquired a new, custom-made acoustic guitar. An informal jam one day lit the spark, and the heartfelt, intimate and stylistically diverse Plucky Strum is the result.
The relaxed mood that permeates most of the tracks is particularly evident on Bailey’s “Broken Glass,” a ballad rhythmically tied to gently sashaying bossa pulses. The guitarist leads the way throughout, her lustrous chords and single-note soloing sketching the tune’s meditative theme while the bassist remains in a supporting role. On Harvie’s good-natured “Bluzin’ F,” he and Bailey partner on tight unison lines that lend the piece a sense of formal structure. Throughout the album, though, the duo mostly switch between lead and supporting roles while milking the blues dialect to full effect. Bailey’s folksy “Woods Talk” finds the guitarist at her most expressive, spinning off steely chords and blues-inflected solo lines while Harvie displays the full tonal range of his double-bass, from plucked staccato notes in the outer limits of his instrument’s upper register to the rich, resonant tones at the bottom end.
Two tributes are album highlights. “To Bea,” written by Harvie to honor his late mother, is a vivacious, up-tempo bossa romp. “Charlie Haden,” another work by the bassist, is an homage to the late jazz legend that radiates a happy, upbeat spirit.
Regardless of their stylistic orientation, the 10 performances captured on Plucky Strum are uniformly warm-blooded, refreshingly spontaneous and occasionally truly virtuosic. —Mark Holston
– See more at: https://www.jazziz.com/harvie-s-sheryl-bailey/#sthash.JY0LTFA3.dpuf
~A nice review written by editor, Dan Forte~
WHALING CITY SOUND
“HARVIE S-SHERYL BAILEY/Plucky Strum: The cover art could trick you into thinking this is a Grant Geissman set. Fun thing is, the playing could as well. With the guitarist and the bassist playing friendlier music that either of these chopmeisters is usually associated with, they might only be a duo with no augmentation, but they know how to raise a proper racket. With killer technical skills between them, they actually sound like they are putting that aside to have a good time. Never coming off like the master class it really is, this is just two cats working it off the clock that invite you to string along for a good time.”
Announces April 7th release of
Whaling City Sound is proud to announce the release for the debut acoustic project from bass virtuoso, Harvie S and “sizzling guitar goddess” Sheryl Bailey
CD Release Performances
April 12 3-5 p
April 17, 6p
55 Christopher St. (Sixth/Seventh Avenue) New York (212) 929-9883