strong

Band Together for Ally | A Benefit for Ally Strong

Musicians from the elite Long Island/NYC/national jam band and rock and roll community are coming together for a one night effort to challenge small cell cancer and raise money for one of its own suffering from this disease.

Band Together for Ally” will take place on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at The Homestead, 107 South Street in Oyster Bay, Long Island from 6pm till at least midnight.  Allyson Strong, after receiving her master’s degree last year, was stunningly diagnosed with small cell cervical cancer just before Labor Day.  Radiation and chemo treatments at Sloan Kettering in New York City have not yielded desired results. The community is rallying to assist with the financial needs of the family to fight this dreaded disease. Small cell cervical cancer is an extraordinarily rare diagnosis. There is much to be learned about this specific type of cancer.

This one night fundraising event will assist Allyson and her family offset an extraordinary financial burden and will feature an unprecedented- one time only lineup featuring Rob Barraco (Dark Star Orchestra/The Dead/Phil Lesh and Friends) an original founding member of Red Flannel Hash along with Ally’s dad John Strong, Jeff Mattson (Dark Star Orchestra), John Strong, Jim Kempster, Lee Finkelstein (Funk Filharmonik/Blues Brothers) Rob Barraco and Patrick “Jake” Cummings will reunite as the original Red Flannel Hash for the first time in over thirty years.

Along with the Red Flannel Hash reunion additional acts scheduled to appear include: The Jim Pin Band with Tom Bowes and members of Funk Filharmonik, Quick Draw, The Mike Nugent Band and The FolkadelicsRed Flannel Hash will appear in its original entirety with Ally’s dad John playing bass in both the former 1970’s version of the band as well as with the current configuration acoustic for two separate sets.

Premium donations for raffles have been generously donated and include:  One Brian Moore Custom iGuitar with USB connectivity valued at $1,600, pendants from Tiffany & Co., a pair of 2011 season tickets to Bethel Woods, two separate pairs of camping passes with VIP tent access for Gathering of the Vibes Music, Camping and Arts Festival, July 24-28 at Seaside Park in Bridgeport, CT featuring Bob Weir/Phil Lesh as Furthur, Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Jane’s Addiction, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, Steve Kimock, Keller Williams as the Rhythm Devils along with an additional thirty five bands.  More Vibes info can be found at www.govibes.com.

Financial / goods and services donations continue to be gratefully accepted for this fundraising effort.  Media promotion and donations are being provided by WCBS-FM, 94 X Radio, WKJY, B-103, 103.9 WRCN, My Country 96.1 Radio.  Event hosts will include Tom Bowes from Funk Filharmonik, Jonathan Lobdell formally of WLIR-FM and Cande Roth of My Country 96.1 FM.  For those not attending but would like to participate, donations are being accepted in any amount, in the form of a check made out to BARRI GLICK and sent to DAP Agency, PO Box 3587, New Hyde Park, NY 11040.

For more information please go to: www.bandtogetherforally.com.

THE BLACK BUTTERFLIES Tuesday, September 7th 9 PM at NUBLU

While this is just the debut release from The Black Butterflies, a group led by 27-year-old saxophonist Mercedes Figueras, veterans would do well to prick up their ears and take note. The Butterflies deftly blend the Latin rhythms of Figueras' native Argentina with free and post-bop noodling and tantalizing natural-world percussive elements, into full, invigorating music that sprouts, twines and flourishes over the 63-minute span of this entirely satisfying album.

The title track kicks off the record. It is a relaxed, comfortably humid piece that sways from a melodic opening into more forceful strains on the wind of Figueras' sax and swingingly persistent conga thumps. The piece never reaches--nor even strives for--the anthemic quality the title might suggest. Instead, the labor sweats happily, singingly under the sun. Appropriately, the tune--and, thus, the album--takes flight on the crystalline wings of Dan Tepfer's echoing, solo keyboard statement. It's appropriate not only for fashioning a sly musical equivalence to the band's moniker, but by spotlighting in Tepfer one of the group's, well, keys. Tepfer's polished electric tones lace the Latin rhythms and strings them up on a brightly modern line that still never smoothes the crisp, pulsing edges of the traditional beats. As mentioned, it's this facile navigation of divergent musical fields and the ability to rake loose from the passage a lively new hybrid that makes listening to The Black Butterflies so palpably intriguing. Ears laugh at their good fortune.

"Afro Blue," with its inevitable rekindling of saxophonist John Coltrane's spirit, also sparks the ghost of Albert Ayler, the twining sax statements of Figueras and her (even more?) experimental mate, Tony Larokko, rendering the Coltrane vehicle as a mighty, squealing, squawking, melodically impassioned conversation between the lost giants of the avant-garde. The saxophonists pause for a breather midway through, revealing front and center the rolling-thunder percussion the listener's body already knew was there. Tepfer contributes another light yet zinging solo over the drums before backing off to give conga man Bopa "King" Carre, percussionist Fred Berryhill and drummer Kenny Wollesen even more space to break loose and rumble.

The first of Figueras' two original pieces on the album, "Pipi's Blues," follows "Afro Blue" with the type of jumping cadence saxophonist Joe Henderson might have favored with the mid 1960s support of pianists McCoy Tyner or Andrew Hill. Only here Tepfer remains electric, adding the swirling bluesy punch of organist Jimmy Smith, while also not refusing to jut off on Larry Young-like angular departures.

Larokko contributes the next two numbers, "Spiritual Travels" and "Yah-Yah," the first a jolting, percussion-heavy piece full of strong repeated sax figures that again recall the journeys of Ayler. The latter, the album's most experimental piece, evolves from whistles and an array of percussion instruments that erupt into a cacophony of insect and animal noises--nature's nighttime rhythm section--that in turn give way to the African chants that supply the song's title and the singing of Figueras. Her voice is strong yet slightly coarse and splintered like the timbre of her sax, relating in insistent, desperate Spanish the tragic tale of "Los Ojos Azules," a Bolivian song popularized by the late Argentine singer Mercedes Sosa, while accompanied by an increasingly complex and urgent layering of rhythmic human voices and drums. The whole ultimately explodes into a screeching battle of horns--the saxophones' cries themselves sounding almost human at times--that burns out through extended, passionate playing, leaving only the snaps and twangs of nature and the soft, compelling "Yah-yah, Yah-yah" chants of dancers or workers.

Yet, lest it be thought the band has gone irrevocably, unrestrainably tribal, it closes on the infectious Figueras piece, "Music Heals All Wounds," a soulful "Auld Lang Syne" with Caribbean accents. (To belabor the Ayler connection--or to kill it, finally--this most certainly is not "Music Is the Healing Force of the Universe.") Figueras' tune delivers as advertised--a warming salve that demands multiple healing doses on the spot, then lingers, replaying itself for hours in the listener's brain to pleasant, calming effect.

Yes, this is the debut release from a new band whose young leader has issued only one other record under her name, Elefante (2007), a free-improv set from Figueras and drummer Martín Visconti. But make no mistake, 1 de Mayo also happens to be one of the best overall records of 2010.

--

THE BLACK BUTTERFLIES

when: Tuesday September 7th
Time: 9 PM
Where: NUBLU (62 Av C New York, NY 10009)
http://www.nublu.net/

meniskus | Live At The Walnut Room | 2010

The unique sound of meniskus is hard to classify. They have been labeled as Latin, European, House, Trance Rock, but none of these really pinpoint what their music sounds like. At times you can hear a mystic Middle Eastern influence, at other times hints of Ukrainian Punk and ancient ancestral harmonies. The only way to really understand is to see them perform live.  Meniskus's live stage performance is what makes this band great. They have finally caught some of the live energy on their latest release 'LIVE at The Walnut Room' recorded in Denver, Colorado in early 2010.

The opening track 'Morocco' is drenched in the soft nylon strings of  Venezuelan-born Bardusco's guitar and Eric Ostberg's howling violin.  Cris Ryt builds the tempo on the drums until the song eventually erupts like an exploding volcano. This transitions smoothly in to the second song, 'The Equalizer'; a driving, strong riff built on the passionate moans of Ostberg's voice. Track three, Latina really reflects the true sound of meniskus. Ryt provides a tantric techno beat as Ostberg and Bardusco trade leads that lift the soaring strings from high down to crashing bass chords below.  'Again', is one of my new favorites, the march of the drums and shouts of Again providing the attitude of a punk song.  'Sheik Don't Mind' is another reflection of the way these three band members play so well together. The feeling and emotions of each person combine in such a way that the song can sound different from night to night. Their world trance classification can be explained by the next track called 'Nightly Erotic'. It flows like the silken dress of a Persian belly dancer as she dances across the floor.  If ska is polka, and polka is punk, then 'The Partyer' is fun as funk. This is a song for everyone; I could easily see it get plenty of air play on KBCO.  'Brigade' is the anthem of this CD, it reminds me of the strong messages sung by U2 in the 80s.  'Combo' is another quick moving song built on forceful emotions and played as fast as a speeding train; by far my favorite song on the CD.  Last is a bonus studio track called 'Greed'. If this song is any indication of where meniskus is taking their music, we have lots to look forward to from this band in the future.

This band has perfected their skills from years on the road and polished their sound by days spent in the booths of Coupe Studios. It’s good to know the energy of their live shows has finally been captured on their CD.

David Grisman Bluegrass Experience @ Boulder Theater

David Grisman is normally associated with the bluegrass wing of country music, but his music owes almost as much to jazz as it does to traditional American folk influences. Because he couldn't think of what to call his unique, highly intricate, harmonically advanced hybrid of acoustic bluegrass, folk, and jazz without leaning toward one idiom or another, he offhandedly decided to call it "dawg music" -- a name which, curiously enough, has stuck. A brilliant mandolinist, with roots deep in the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, Grisman's jazz sensibilities were strong enough to attract the admiration of the HCQ's Stephane Grappelli, who has toured and recorded with Grisman on occasion. 

David Grisman | July 20th, 2010

Tickets will be on sale through the Boulder Theater box office | Internet 24-7 at www.bouldertheater.com  | Phone: During box office hours 303-786-7030

--

On Sale Apr 17
GA / All Ages/ $36.00