adams

New era of NRBQ and new CD ushered in by Terry Adams

Terry Adams, visionary, driving force, and “untamed genius of the keyboards” for the great American band NRBQ since its inception more than 40 years ago, resumes his life’s work with the release of a new studio album, Keep This Love Goin’ by NRBQ, due out July 19, 2011. Recorded with the band he formed in 2007 — Scott Ligon on guitar and vocals, Pete Donnelly on bass and vocals, and Conrad Choucroun on drums, formerly known as The Terry Adams Rock & Roll Quartet — Keep This Love Goin’ features 12 unforgettable songs, from the opener “Boozoo and Leona,” inspired by Adams’ relationship with the great zydeco musician Boozoo Chavis and his wife (Adams produced three albums for and performed with Chavis), to the instrumental closer “Red’s Piano,” a tune written by Piano Red and recorded in one take in that unmistakable NRBQ style. Adams learned the song from Red himself, when the Atlanta legend visited him at his upstate New York home in the 1970s.

In between is the unique Q mix of rock, pop and jazz, and of course no album of theirs would be complete without a classic Adams twist — here, an adaptation of Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor,” done as a country tune called “In Every Dream.” Original compositions from Adams, Ligon, and Donnelly, written separately and together, and stellar playing throughout make for a true band effort. Former NRBQ bandmate Tom Ardolino provided the front cover art (and sits in on drums on two tracks).

“I found musicians who not only understand NRBQ’s past and traditions but who are open to future impossibilities,” says Adams. “It’s important that their reason for being musicians in the first place is real.”

Chicago’s Scott Ligon is on guitar and vocals. The multi-instrumentalist is, says the Nashville Scene, “an unqualified badass — he echoes Adams’ gift for balancing melody with dissonance.” Philadelphia-based Pete Donnelly, also a member of the Figgs, handles bass and vocals. And from Austin comes drummer Conrad Choucroun, who has played with numerous Texas bands and musicians (Bob Schneider, Kelly Willis, the Damnations, among others).

Adams announced in March 2011 the return of the NRBQ name along with the release of the new album. In the years since 2004, when the most recent Q line-up last appeared regularly onstage, Adams has been steadily rebuilding his health after a cancer diagnosis, and rebuilding the band after the other members decided to form their own band (Joey and Johnny Spampinato) or retire from the road (Tom Ardolino).

Why did he initially call his band the Terry Adams Rock & Roll Quartet in 2007 instead of NRBQ?

“I didn’t want to call the band NRBQ right away,” says Adams “because I didn’t want Scott, Pete, and Conrad subjected to unfair comparisons. It was clear in the spring of 2009 that we had it onstage, but I wanted to wait until we had more road experience and a new studio album with new songs that we wrote and recorded together. You can hear it on Keep This Love Goin’. The time is right.”

“I’m finally free to let go and move NRBQ forward. That’s what I’ve been doing since I was 18. With all due respect to the past, NRBQ is a living, breathing, ongoing sound. I never intended it to ever become a trip down memory lane.”

The first weekend of April found the band onstage for their first live shows, now billed as “the New NRBQ.”  Said the Albany Times-Union, “ . . . the current incarnation lived up to the legacy. They reclaimed not only the vast NRBQ catalog of songs and loose-as-a-goose sound, but also the band’s wildly unpredictable spirit on stage . . . their willingness to step way out on a limb has always been one of NRBQ’s most endearing qualities, and in the contemporary world of pre-packaged, cookie-cutter pop stars, it’s sure great to have them back.” The Schenectady Gazette added, “the re-branded NRBQ has developed an impressive depth of mutual intuition so that even odd detours took on unanimous glee Sunday. They felt so good and they made everyone feel good too.”

Labor Records reissues Heiner Stadler’s album Tribute to Bird and Monk

A truly groundbreaking landmark recording, Tribute To Bird and Monk, was widely lauded when it was first released in 1978 – credited as one of the best and most unusual albums of that year by Neil Tesser in a Jazz Magazine article that noted the record’s “tough, bright, innovative resiliency” and earning the coveted five star (highest) rating in a Downbeat review by critic Jerry de Muth (who called the two LP set “a brilliant mixture of arranged and free jazz”) and garnering arranger-producer Heiner Stadler a place in the magazine’s Annual Critic’s Poll as a Talent Deserving Wider Recognition.  More than thirty years later, the album originally released on Tomato Records, is a coveted collectors item whose importance has only been compounded with time, while Stadler’s pioneering conception continues to be a talent very much deserving of wider recognition.  Now reissued as a compact disc on his own Labor Records imprint, it is likely that Stadler’s unique talent will again be heard as deserving increased attention and the music will once more be praised on a level comparable to when it first appeared. The considerable artistic success of Stadler’s pioneering project can be credited as much to his visionary assembling of a truly distinctive ensemble to perform his inventive orchestrations, described by de Muth as “far more than arrangements,” noting that “recompositions would be a better term.”

In selecting veteran cornetist Thad Jones, a Monk alumnus and one of the most renowned arrangers of his day, to be an important member of the band filled out by much younger musicians who were closely associated with more modernist, even avant garde aspects of the jazz genre, Stadler imbued the date with an intriguing traditionalist facet at atime when tradition and innovation were virtually at war.  Tenor saxophonist George Adams, most recognized for his work with Charles Mingus made him at home in both camps, but his fierce uninhibited sound was certainly heard as being outside the mainstream.  The youngest member of the group, trombonist George Lewis as a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians was clearly recognized as a member of the avant garde.  Stadler’s choice of rhythm section mates could be considered most astute, with multitalented pianist Stanley Cowell as one of the few players of his instrument to find a place in the post Ornette realm of forward looking modernism. Virtuoso bassist Reggie Workman, a veteran of Coltrane’s innovative band and  then a member of Max Roach’s creative quartet was extending both the range and the role of the bass.  While Lenny White, known for his pioneering fusion work on Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew and Chick Corea’s Return To Forever, proved to be a propulsive force, capable of swinging with fiery power.  The addition of percussionist Warren Smith on tympani for a pair of tracks further contributes to the band’s uncommon sound.

In his introductory comments for the reissue Tribute To Bird and Monk (prefacing the late Robert Palmer’s original liner notes) Jazz Journalist Association President Howard Mandel observes,  “By casting a unique sextet of New York City’s best improvising instrumentalists to explore the potentialities and retain the essences of music by two great jazz modernists composer-producer Stadler proved prescient. In 2010 tribute projects proliferate, though few take the dramatic leaps to create new art from indestructible aspects of established creations that Stadler’s does.” With remixed sound by the brilliant engineer Malcolm Addey listeners can now appreciate more the nuances of Stadler’s polytonal arrangements and the soloists’ daring improvisations on the six tracks split evenly between Monk and Parker compositions.

As Palmer points out in his liner notes (now reprinted) Parker’s opening “Air Conditioning” begins, “deceptively as it turns out, with a unison theme statement in C.”  Deceptively, as it is, because Stadler’s “polytonal manipulations on the theme …especially evident in the horn backgrounds that frame the solos.”  Each of the sextet members improvise boldly with Jones kicking things off with one of the date’s most conventional statements, followed by Lewis who pushes things a bit further out, preceding Adams who gradually takes things into space, with the ensembles raucous backgrounds deftly referring to Parker’s melodic line.  Cowell’s outing is particularly adventurous, proving himself to be one of the very few keyboardists who wasable to interpolate the vocabulary of Cecil Taylor into the more traditional language of bebop.  Workman, whopowerfully pushes the unit throughout, acquits the bass as an instrument quite capable of holding its own in the spotlight, while White solos musically, hearkening to Max Roach’s work with Bird.

Drums dramatically open Monk’s “Ba-lue Bolivar Ba-lues-are,” followed by Workman’s vigorously bowed bass and the horn section’s statement of the theme, which begins ominously before morphing into a carnival-like mood reflecting the composer’s sly sense of humor. Cowell, the lone remaining soloist, improvises lengthily here – referencing Monk frequently, occasionally with verbatim phraseology -- as horns enter and exit at odd intervals chime in with backgrounds transcribed from Monk’s original piano solo with Cecil Bridgewater (subbing for the snowbound Jones) playing with free spirited assurance.  Palmer notes the performance seems to be a particularly radical recomposition with each phrase of the theme voiced polytonally and separated from the next by a free collective improvisation, with Stadler’s score warning “don’t improvise too long in order to avoid losing the continuity of the melody.”

Parker’s ” Au Privave” features the trombone of George Lewis whose years of experience playing numerous uptempo Bird songs with Anthony Braxton finds him well prepared for his exemplary work here.  Adams plays the opening theme over Workman’s bass walking (in a different key) joined shortly thereafter by the horns. Lewis improvises marvelously, following Stadler’s instructions to vary his tempo, playing either slightly faster or slower than half time, while the rhythm sections plays in the set tempo.  The result is in Palmer’s words “constantly shifting mosaic of tempos … and each tempo swings.”

Workman and White open up Monk’s “Straight No Chaser” before the horns begin playing fragments of the well known melody with the various separate components linked by collectively improvised horn ensembles. Jones solos first, playing with an inspired abandon Palmer described at the time of the original release as “his most exciting and creative recorded work in years.”  Cowell again proves himself to be one of the most creative soloists of his generation improvising in tandem with the primordial Workman in a manner recalling Monk, while White’s drums run the gamut from New Orleans to out(er space) in a rhythmic duel with the horns’ staccato background. Workman’s extended unaccompanied bass solo brings the horns back in and the bassist walks things to a close

“Misterioso,” the final Monk exploration again begins with a Lenny White solo, his drums here joined by Warren Smith’s tympani, as various members of the ensemble play fragments of the bluesy theme to frame their percussion discussion, with Cowell’s piano clearly drawing the line between Monk and Cecil Taylor.  Workman’s bass is in the spotlight again, displaying a vast sonic array with incredible pizzicato and arco sections that are sensitively backed by the rest of the band on a truly masterful interpretation of the Monk classic engendered by Stadler’s daring arrangement which concludes with a return to the percussion section’s buoying of the theme.

Parker’s “Perhaps” ends the date on one of its lighter notes, with brass playing the not so widely known Bird line to open things up for Adams’ breathy flute as the rhythm section swings over Workman’s fast walking bass, joined intermittedly by trumpet and trombone, breaking up thetempo before Adams lets loose on tenor playing with a full emotional range -- from terrifying to tender -- that leads to a final ensemble statement of the theme with an almost conventional tone that offers an unexpected final relief.

The durability of this music, as daringly modern todayas it was when it was made more than three decades ago, stands as a tribute not just to Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk, but also to Heiner Stadler, whose sympathetic vision of the two great composer’s creativity has brought their sound into the future while paying homage to the tradition from where it sprang.  As Mandel notes, “Tribute is a fair indication of Stadler’s powers. In it, he demonstrates that Bird and Monk wrote immutably multi-faceted music from which inspired individuals can generate kaleidoscopic variations, and that their music has inspired him to stretch form in a manner indisputably wed to content. There is no higher tribute than an artist making something new and enduring out of sources he admires and acknowledges.” This is the splendor Heiner Stadler provides to us with his Tribute to Bird and Monk.”

Brandon Adams & Jimmy Dasher Team Up for National Tour

Music fans will get a taste of exciting sounds to come on CD when Melodic Undertone recording artists Brandon Adams & The Sad Bastards and Jimmy Dasher hit the cross-country road this fall as a special two-for-one package. Rather than wait for Adams’ self-titled album and Dasher’s THE WAITING GAME to hit record stores, radio and the Internet in January, this proactive pairing will spark and build a buzz from the grassroots of the live music stage to launch the discs with momentum already behind them.

The tour offers a chance for listeners to get acquainted with two seasoned live performers, superior singers and songwriters and budding recording artists sharing the stage at venues across the nation. Adams and Dasher will play shows in the Southwest and through Colorado and Nevada to the Midwest and Southeast, returning to play Texas in November

Brandon Adams & The Sad Bastards are a burgeoning West Texas new country phenomenon already winning a loyal following in dancehalls, honky-tonks and clubs across the region. Putting a modernist spin on firmly rooted Lone Star State style C&W, Adams takes his songwriting cues from acts he grew up on like Ray Price, Johnny Bush and George Strait as well as the progressive rocking Americana of Ryan Adams. Add to that his diverse tastes that enjoy the full stylistic spectrum of today’s popular music, and lyrical and singing skills that cut to the bone with both honesty and smarts, Adams and his band make music that goes straight to the hearts of real country fans while charming listeners that enjoy a range of musical flavors.

Jimmy Dasher displays a dazzling diversity that he melds into his own sound on THE WAITING GAME, all of it fired by the skills that won him the Best Guitarist title in his hometown of San Antonio while still in his mid-teens. As a high school student he honed his chops in Austin and San Antonio clubs, and later released two albums and an EP and also did two national tours in the fully independent acoustic duo Window. He also played and recorded with recording artist Levi Smith as he developed his own music, which came to fruition during a solitary stay at an old Texas Panhandle small town farmhouse where he later cut THE WAITING GAME.

Both Adams and Dasher are ready and determined to bring rich musicality, excitement and their engaging new sounds to the stage. “I love playing so much, and will do it anytime, anywhere for anyone who wants to listen,” says Adams.

Dasher is equally fired to bring his music to the stages of America’s clubs. For as he says, “There’s nothing I’d rather do than play live.”

Melodic Undertone Production Group is a music production collective and record label made up of highly talented artists and entrepreneurs who produce and engineer, write songs and theatrical scores, generate beats, do live sound engineering and more. They have united their gifts and skills to work on projects that span across and combine country, rock, R&B, hip-hop more. Melodic Undertone’s unity of creative, technical and music industry artistry is devoted to doing what they do and love: The Music.

Upcoming Tour Dates Include:

September 21, Low Spirits, Albuquerque
September 23, Rogue Bar, Phoenix
September 24, Hotel Monte Vista, Flagstaff
September 25, Yayo’s Tacos, Las Vegas
September 27, The Music Barn, Parowan/Cedar City
September 28, Quixote’s True Blue, Denver
September 29, Rock n Soul Café, Boulder
September 30, Rocket Room, Colorado Springs
October 3, Reggie’s Music Joint, Chicago (Jimmy Dasher show)
October 4, The Horseshoe, Chicago (Brandon Adams show)
October 5, Doc’s Music Hall, Muncie
October 6, Cicero’s, St. Louis
October 7, One Eyed Jacks, Fairborn, Ohio
October 9, Old Glory, Canton, Ohio
October 11, Slim’s, Raleigh
October 12, The Cave Tavern, Chapel Hill
October 13, Caledonia Lounge, Athens
October 14, Brewster’s Pub, Jacksonville
October 15, The Backstage Lounge, Gainesville
October 17, Smith’s Olde Bar, Atlanta
October 19, Elliott’s Revue, Winston Salem, N.C.
October 20, Canyons of the Blue Ridge, Boone, N.C.
October 21, The Boiler Room, Asheville
October 22, Ultimate Basement, Sunny View, N.C.
October 23, French Quarter Café, Nashville
October 26, P&H Café, Memphis
October 28, Vino’s Brew Pub, Little Rock, Ark.
October 30, The Celtic, Pascagoula, Miss.
October 31, St. Roch Tavern, New Orleans
November 4, Poor David’s Pub, Dallas
November 5, Woody's Tavern, Fort Worth
November 6, Basil Whippet’s, College Station
November 10, Momo’s, Austin
November 11, Jack’s Patio, San Antonio
November 12, The Blue Light, Lubbock
November 18, Schotzi’s, College Station

Cary Brothers: New dates, Songs & Ryan Adams cover

Cary Brothers- for the Grateful Web

Cary Brothers is returning to the stage with two exclusive performances in March.  It's been a full year since Cary toured America, as the last time was in March/April 08 to support his debut album "Who You Are", with Ingrid Michaelson, Joshua Radin, Sara Bareilles on the hugely popular Hotel Cafe Tour which he co-founded 5 years ago.

Cary has been in the studio for a latter part of 2008 and will preview a couple of tracks in the sets, like "Break Off The Bough," "Ghost Town," "After The Fall," and "Under Control" which will be on his, as of yet untitled, upcoming album.

See Cary Brothers video blog 2009.1 in which he previews a snippet of his new song "Ghost Town". He also plays an amazing cover of Ryan Adams' "Come Pick Me Up".

Last year, Cary Brothers "Ride" was remixed by the world famous DJ/producer Tiësto and the track became a European dance floor hit. Tiësto invited Cary to perform live on stage with him during his headlining slot at the Bonnaroo Festival and Tiësto's sold-out 20,000-capacity O2 Arena in London on 8/8/08. Besides the live shows in Europe, Japan and America, Cary also made several TV appearances, like Jimmy Kimmel and the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

March 3rd New York, NY @ Le Poisson Rouge (w/ Luke Temple and Callers)
March 5th Hollywood, CA @ Troubadour (w/ Buddy)