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Acoustic Africa | Boulder Theater | 3.16.2011

The audience was drenched in motherland soul on Wednesday night at the Boulder Theater as Habib Koite, Oliver Mtukudzi and Afel Bocoum came together on one stage to perf

Jethro Tull Returns to Red Rocks!

Jethro Tull and Kansas will be performing at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 18300 West Alameda Parkways, in Morrison, CO on June 8.  The show starts at 7:30 PM.  Tickets are $49.50 and $84.50, plus applicable service fees.  The venue phone is 800-745-3000, and the website.

In celebration of the park bench, dribbly-nosed voyeur's 40th Anniversary, Ian Anderson returns to the USA with his band Jethro Tull, starting June 8 in Denver, CO and ending on the 26 in Chicago, IL.

The group features longtime members Ian Anderson (flute, vocals, acoustic guitar) and Martin Barre (guitars), Doane Perry (drums), as well as David Goodier (bass) and pianist John O'Hara.  The latter two joined in 2006 after working with Ian on some of his solo projects.

The group will be performing the Aqualung album in its entirety plus a range of their other favorites from the lat 42 years.  Critics dubbed AQUALUNG “a concept album,” particularly for Ian's critical, skeptical views of organized religion, mostly on side B ("My God," "Hymn 43"). Anderson has disputed - almost resented - the assessment seeing the record as "just a bunch of songs." This led the band to give the critics a full-blown concept album with the following studio release THICK AS A BRICK which topped the Billboard charts in 1972.

On AQUALUNG, the group explores the struggles of the less fortunate in our society (e.g., "Aqualung," "Cross-Eyed Mary," "Up to Me"). Teenage angst and formal education difficulties (e.g., "Wind Up") are explored, and Ian returns to his parental themes with "Cheap Day Return," a tune encompassing Anderson's feelings while traveling North on the train to visit his sick father. "Locomotive Breath" touches on the issues of globalization, population expansion and runaway economics. Sound familiar?

Formed in 1968, Jethro Tull released its first album THIS WAS late in that year and followed up in 1969 with STAND UP.  In the 1970s, the group was one of the most successful live performing acts on the world stage, rivaling Zeppelin, Elton John and even the Rolling Stones. Surprising, really, for a group whose more sophisticated and evolved stylistic extravagance was far from the Pop and Rock norm of that era.

With now some 30-odd albums to their credit and sales totaling more than 50 million, the apparently un-commercial Tull continues to perform over a 100 concerts per year with its rich variety and depth of expression, wherever fans, young and old, want to hear Rock, Folk, Jazz and Classical-inspired music. Music for boys in long trousers and girls with brains.

In 2011, Tull will tour in Australia, Ireland, and Germany.  And Ian will perform solo shows in Germany, Spain, Cyprus, Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Panama, Mexico, Czech Republic, the UK, Sweden, Denmark and Finland finishing with his customary charity Christmas concerts at three UK cathedrals.

In 2006, Ian was awarded a Doctorate in Literature from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, the Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement in Music and, in the New Years Honours List 2008, an MBE for services to music. In 2012, he expects to be awarded the Smithsonian Medal of Honor for smelling OK for someone his age and having ears still in proportion to the rest of his head. His bladder remains elastic and his prostate the size of a pinhead.

Read Grateful Web's interview with Ian Anderson.

Colin Stetson Premieres "Stars In His Head"

Colin Stetson is a horn player of uncommon strength, skill and genre-defying creativity. He composes and performs otherworldly songs that combine a mastery of circular breathing technique with percussive valve-work and reed vocalisations, making a polyphonic solo music that combines influences as diverse as Bach, early metal, American pre-war Gospel, and the explorations of Jimi Hendrix, Peter Brotzman and Albert Ayler.

New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges is Stetson's second solo record and his first for Constellation.  Colin has been making his mark as a staggering solo performer for several years now, in front of audiences small and large, from intimate jazz and experimental music venues to big stages, whether opening for Arcade Fire or The National, or playing at jazz and new music festivals like Moers and London Jazz. His talents have been widely recognised and employed by artists as diverse as Tom Waits, Laurie Anderson, TV On The Radio and Bon Iver.  Colin also plays in Belle Orchestre and Sway Machinery.
The music on New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges was captured entirely live in single takes at Montréal's Hotel2Tango studio, with no overdubs or looping, using over 20 mics positioned close and far throughout the live room. Guest vocals by Laurie Anderson and Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) are the only exceptions to this rule, along with one brief french horn that was multi-tracked.
The Judges sessions were co-produced by Stetson and Shahzad Ismaily and engineered by Efrim Menuck at the Hotel2Tango, then taken to Greenhouse StudiosBen Frost.
The result is a highly original, experimental, euphoric record that fires on all levels: a document of an astoundingly strong and gifted player; a compositional tour-de-force; and a studio production bursting with intensity and inventiveness.

New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges features cover art by Tracy Maurice and will be issued on CD in custom 100% recycled paperboard gatefold jacket and on 180gLP with a limited edition screenprinted poster contained in the first pressing. The album will also be available digitally.
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North American Tour Dates:
2/03 - The Stone - New York NY
2/5 - Le Cercle - Quebec, QC w/Tim Hecker
2/10 - La Sala Rossa - Montreal, QC w/Tim Hecker
2/17 - The New Musuem - New York, NY

eTown: Keller Williams and Marc Broussard

eTown kicks off its 2011 season with a live event that is sure to be energetic, memorable and packed with phenomenal singing and musicianship. Nick and Helen welcome Keller Williams back to the show. The unique musician will bring his cohorts The Keels, husband and wife duo Larry and Jenny Keel, who back Keller on his recent all covers album "Thief" as well as the 2006 collaboration "Grass." As the latter title suggests, the Keels add a bluegrass-y twist to Keller's customary one-man-eclectic-band approach. Keller will do his remarkable solo orchestration as well. Marc Broussard, the Louisiana-bred singer and songwriter, is known for his unique ability to channel the multiple spirits of classic R&B and soul into contemporary terms.

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More Info / Buy Tickets

Check out lots more Keller Williams coverage on The Grateful Web:

A BackYard Barbeque with Keller Williams

Keller Williams: thief

Keller Williams | The Egg @ The Heart Theatre

Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under

Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under is her latest offering as a solo artist. A collection of live and studio tracks with an Antipodean theme, the album berates a lover for his love of vegemite and celebrates a lady’s nether regions with the new single “Map of Tasmania” which you can download HERE.  All materialfor this album was lovingly penned for and recorded in Australia and New Zealand. It includes some special tributes in the form of covers of Nick Cave and New Zealand’s Peter Jefferies.

Having just struggled to be release from her major label contract, Amanda has been trailblazing in Internet and creative distribution with an effective new model for distribution of music. Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under will be available exclusively for her Down Under fans as a physical release through Liberator. However, true to Amanda’s unique and successful music model, fans will be able to choose their contribution for download, packages and once in a lifetime experiences.  As with her latest release Amanda Palmer Performs The Popular Hits Of Radiohead On Her Magical Ukulele, check out her website for package details.

“This whole record is a love letter to Australia and New Zealand,“ Amanda says flirting wildly with her southern neighbors. Amanda has made no secret of the fact that she’d love to relocate to her “second home” in Melbourne during the New York winter and keep her summer home in the Big Apple the rest of the time. “I have a special relationship with the Australian people. It was the first continent where Dresden Dolls landed and it was Beatlemania. I have a huge resonance with the place and the people. Plus I hate being cold,” she says.

Anyone who’s ever seen or heard Palmer – whether raising eyebrows as the gender-bending “emcee” in the prestigious American Repertoire Theatre’s production of the musical ‘Cabaret’, delivering dramatically direct, wildly theatrical performances as one half of the cabaret-punk duo The Dresden Dolls or, most recently, as a solo artist whose uncompromising vision has frequently made her a flashpoint for both admiration and controversy – will attest to the fact that being a musician and rock star is not merely a job, and never has been.

Instead, Palmer is her art. And, in turn, her art is an extension of who she is, and is always becoming: a voracious seeker of creative catharsis and emotional release, a bold participant in games of truth or dare (she always opts for both) on a life-sized stage and above all, an utterly un-categorize-able work-in-progress. She’s a fearless singer, songwriter and an audaciously expressive pianist who simultaneously embraces – and explodes – traditional frameworks of composition.

Palmer has collaborated with indie-pop pianist Ben Folds (who produced her most recent solo work Who Killed Amanda Palmer) and teamed with acclaimed author Neil Gaiman for a storybook of photography that beautifully expands the conceptual and narrative ideas outlined in her ambitious solo album.

Amanda Palmer Goes Down Undercoincides with the Opera House “Australia Day Spectacular” with Amanda inviting special guests husband Neil Gaiman, cabaret darling Meow Meow and Mikelangelo & The Black Sea Gentleman to join her on this January 26th celebration.

Amanda Palmer will also be touring January & February taking in the MONO FOMA festival in Tasmania as a special guest of curator Brian Ritchie of the Violent Femmes. She will also be reprising her much lauded performance at the Forum Theatre in Melbourne.  She will bring the spectacular to the Adelaide Fringe in early March.

Amanda Palmer brings her special brand of humor to Australia w/ headline performances across the country.

FESTIVAL DATES:

01/15/11: Tasmania @ MONO FOMA FESTIVAL
Curated by Brian Ritchie of the Violent Femmes
FREE info available HERE

01/17/2011: Tasmania @ MONO FOMA WORKSHOP
Info available HERE

01/26/11: Sydney @ SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under: Australia Day Spectacular
With special guests Neil Gaiman, cabaret act Meow Meow and Mikelangelo & The Black Sea Gentlemen
Tickets available HERE

National Jazz Museum in Harlem Jan. 3 - Jan. 9, 2011

The electric bass was actually Christian McBride’s first instrument. He began playing at age 8 when Jaco Pastorious was the bass guitar's standard bearer, having created masterpieces with the group Weather Report as well as his eponymously titled first solo recording. Jaco Pastorious transformed the bass guitar into an instrument of fine art, and there are few better, if any, to discuss Pastorious than McBride. This will be a night to remember - whatever you do, make it to this free class, and bring a friend.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Jazz for Curious Listeners
Christian McBride Hosts: My Musical Heroes
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300
Christian’s Subject: Jaco Pastorious, Electric Bass Innovator
Friday, January 7, 2011

Signed to Sony Classical at the age of 17, Eldar has since established himself as one of the most brilliant and virtuosic solo jazz pianists of his generation. The possessor of a unique style, this is a rare solo performance in New York City. Along the way, Eldar’s had the good fortune to work with masters such as Dr. Billy Taylor, Dave Brubeck, Michael Brecker, Herbie Hancock, among others. The performance space is a wonderful place to hear acoustic music – no microphones, just a lot of wood to give the sound depth and warmth. This is a wonderful way to break in the New Year with live music!

Harlem in the Himalayas
Eldar, Pianist
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
For tickets: RMA Box Office or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Colin Stetson To Release "New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges"

Colin Stetson is a horn player of uncommon strength, skill and genre-defying creativity.  He composes and performs otherworldly songs that combine a mastery of circular breathing technique with percussive valve-work and reed vocalisations, conveying a polyphonic solo music that combines influences as diverse as Bach, early metal, American pre-war Gospel, and the playing of Jimi Hendrix, Peter Brotzman and Albert Ayler.

New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges is Stetson's second solo record and his first for Constellation.  Colin has been making his mark as a staggering solo performer for several years now, in front of audiences small and large, from intimate jazz and experimental music venues to big stages, whether opening for Arcade Fire or The National, or at jazz and new music festivals like Moers and London Jazz Fest.  His talents have been widely recognised and employed by artists as diverse as Tom Waits, Laurie Anderson, Antibalas and Bon Iver.  His live solo performances are absolutely stunning and uncategorisable and he conveys a commensurate intensity and iconoclasm on this new studio album of original material.

New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges was recorded entirely live in the studio at Montréal's Hotel2Tango, with no overdubs or looping pedals, using over 20 mics positioned close and far throughout the live room.  Guest vocals by Laurie Anderson and Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) are the only exceptions to this rule, along with one brief french horn suite ("All The Days I've Missed You") that was multi-tracked by Colin.

Stetson is able to weave an uninterrupted flow of arpeggiated swirls and chordal progressions while simultaneously singing yearning melodic lines through the reed of his horn - a technically powerful combination, exponentially intensified by Colin's innate sense of pace, phrasing and trajectory.  Stetson approaches his solo work with one foot firmly rooted in a pop sensibility, harmonically and in terms of overall song structure - a sensibility on fine display in longer pieces like "Judges", "The Stars In His Head (Dark Lights Remix)" , "Clothed In The Skin Of The Dead" and "Fear Of The Unknown And The Blazing Sun".  He can paint short, ecstatic spirals of rapid-fire ostinati that move through the entire range of the instrument, full of subtle rhythmic shifts and filigree, as with "The Righteous Wrath Of An Honourable Man", "From No Part Of Me Could I Summon A Voice" and "A Dream Of Water", all of which clock in at the 2-3 minute range (and the last of which features a spoken word vocal by Laurie Anderson).  Colin can also shred, especially when rallying the full force of the bass saxophone, whether in the foghorn blasts that open the album or the gasping syncopated pulse of "Red Horse (Judges II)".  The seamless, steamy, multi-timbral drone that underpins Shara Worden's guest vocal on "Lord I Just Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes" demonstrates another side of Colin's mastery and sensibility.

The sessions were co-produced by Stetson and Shahzad Ismaily and engineered by Efrim Menuck at the Hotel2Tango, then taken to Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavik and mixed by Ben Frost, the critically acclaimed experimental electronic/ambient composer and producer whose shared influences of minimalism, noise and black metal made him the perfect choice for a bold and unconventional approach to the raw material.  Frost pushes and pans different mic signals to the fore from song to song (and within songs), eliciting a cornucopia of details and extremes in Colin's playing and highlighting the complexity of sounds generated by a single horn in Stetson's hands.  Rhythms are formed by clicking keys, minute textures are brought forward by running ambient mics extremely hot, and low end is at times pushed fully into the red to devastating effect.  Mastering by Mell Dettmer provides the final touch.

The result is a highly original, experimental and thrilling record that fires on all levels: as a document of an astoundingly strong and gifted player, as a compositional tour-de-force, and as a studio production bursting with intensity and inventiveness: a challenging work that resists classification but remains accessible to music lovers of many stripes.

Alan Hampton Announces Solo NYC & International Dates

Making the leap from sideman to solo artist, Alan Hampton's debut LP The Moving Sidewalk effortlessly showcases his tender, ashy voice shimmering over lush string trios, Dr. Who synthesizers and finger-picked acoustic guitars all performed by many of Brooklyn's finest musicians.

After performing around the world with artists including Gretchen Parlato, Sufjan Stevens, Clare and the Reasons, Robert Glasper and Elizabeth & the Catapult, Hampton announces solo NYC shows and national dates with Parlato to celebrate the release of The Moving Sidewalk.

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Who is Alan Hampton:
Alan Hampton’s debut record, The Moving Sidewalk effortlessly showcases his range of musicality and resourcefulness. His tender, ashy voice shimmers over lush string trios, Dr. Who synthesizers, and finger-picked acoustic guitars, all performed by many of Brooklyn’s finest musicians. The ten, carefully constructed songs are intricate hybrids of various genres and influences, pooling from Brian Wilson, Wayne Shorter, and The Band.
Enhanced only by its homebrewed process, The Moving Sidewalk was recorded in Pete Rende’s Brooklyn apartment, and mixed in David Boucher’s Culver City garage. The album’s cover features Hampton’s whittled self-portrait standing on a winding sidewalk that ribbons from a cityscape made of papier mâché and wire form, which was designed and constructed with close friend Lindsey Anderson.
An extensive musical education; years of experience as a sideman and bassist in NYC; and practice in a variety of different genres have all contributed to the abundant reservoir of resources that make Hampton’s record at once eloquent and unassuming. Hampton studied composition and performance, and toured and performed with jazz luminaries Terrence Blanchard, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in Southern California. After completing the program, he moved to Brooklyn where he made his mark as a bassist and sideman, performing around the world and recording with the likes of Gretchen Parlato, Sufjan Stevens, Clare and the Reasons, Robert Glasper, and Elizabeth and the Catapult.
Since the arrival of The Moving Sidewalk, and his leap from sideman to solo artist, Hampton has gained notoriety as a singer and a songwriter, and has appeared on records by singer Gretchen Parlato, and bassist Derrick Hodge, who is known for his work with Common, Mos Def, and Maxwell.
Where The Moving Sidewalk will take Hampton next, he can’t be sure. But the evidence rings loud and clear: In the world of music, Alan Hampton is quickly setting the pace.
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Alan Hampton Tour Dates:

Nov 23 - Rose Hall - NY, NY    
Dec 4 - Alverno College - Milwaukee, WI
Dec 10 - Rockwood Music Hall - NY, NY
Jan 3 - Joe's Pub - NY, NY (CD Release show)
Feb 10 - Olin Center - Lewiston, ME    Bates College
Feb 12 - Vermont Jazz Center - Brattleboro, VT    
Feb 18 - Riverside Fine Arts Association - Jacksonville, FL    
Apr 22 - Wichita Jazz Festival - Wichita, KS    
Apr 23 - Wichita Jazz Festival - Wichita, KS
More tour dates to be announced soon

Introducing YELLOWBIRDS from Sam Cohen of Apollo Sunshine

Yellowbirds is the moniker for the latest musical exploits of Sam Cohen--songwriter, guitarist and vocalist in the psychedelic collective Apollo Sunshine.  Next Tuesday, October 12, Yellowbirds will release its debut track "The Rest Of My Life." The song is the first of three to be made available in the coming months, hinting at what's to come as Cohen puts the finishing touches on The Color, a full-length studio recording due in early 2011.

Sam Cohen grew up in Houston, Texas, and while the Texas of his teens may have been home to Big Oil, Enron, the Bush family, and the drab gray Astros jerseys of the 90's, he prefers to think of it as the Texas of yore, home to Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, the Space Program, and rainbow orange Astros jerseys.  It stands to reason, then, that his current home of New York City must be the mythical Empire City: Rocky Mountains of architecture, epicenter of modern art, home to Charles Mingus and The Velvet Underground.

It was with these timeless inspirations in mind that Cohen created The Color by Yellowbirds, his "solo" debut.  Double-speed auto-harp glissandos, glowing backwards pedal-steel, bubbling echo and fuzz guitars coalesce into a warm wall of sound.  As existential lyrical themes emerge, delivered nonchalantly over psyched-out aural landscapes, the picture emerges of a dust-blown, 4th dimensional Future West.  This is Cohen's quixotic world where "only the purist tones can be heard."

Listen to Yellowbirds'

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Guitarist Mike Keneally + Drummer Marco Minnemann = Evidence of Humanity

One bright morning, world-renowned drummer Marco Minnemann (Eddie Jobson's UZ, Nina Hagen, Necrophagist, Paul Gilbert, David Torn and countless others) settled down behind the DW kit in his secluded hideaway, punched the record button, and proceeded to pound out an astounding 52-minute improvised solo. When it was finished, he christened it Normalizer 2 and offered it as a sort of gift to a handful of his favorite guitarists, hoping that they would each add their own signature madness to the mix.

Multi-instrumentalist Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, Dethklok, Joe Satriani and, again, countless others) was someone Marco hoped would dig the idea. In the throes of recording his intense and complex Scambot 1 album (released last year on Exowax), Mike leapt at Marco's offer-- the creation of Evidence of Humanity would be a joyous, freewheeling counterpoint to his meticulous work on Scambot. "A fun ride," Mike would recall.

Frequently, while recording his parts, Mike would respond improvisationally to a section of Marco's drum solo, recording a melodic statement on guitar, keyboard or bass, and then overdubbing orchestrational support to the original improvised part. On other sections, Mike would compose movement strenuously in unison with Marco's initial improvised outburst.

The ecstatic result is something like two of the world's foremost musicians improvising together, but not at the same time. It's a record unlike any other that Mike has recorded (but probably closest to Nonkertompf, his indefinable, mostly instrumental 1999 solo extravaganza). Evidence of Humanity seems to have a life of its own, mutating and maturing with each listen.

Accompanying the Evidence of Humanity CD is a DVD, containing a tasty reimagining of the original concept. This time, Mike and Marco got together in real time and vaulted into the ether for another 52-minute musical improvisation, a feat that was videotaped for your pleasure and entitled Elements Of A Manatee. The DVD also includes an insightful conversation between the two kindred musical spirits, shot in the back seat of a car hurtling toward the Southern California desert's dilapidated Salton Sea.