Serendipity, thy name is the Dogbone Trio. Comprising Micah Hood (trombone), Maren Hatch, (acoustic bass), and Jefferson Voorhees (drums), this improvisational trio with a wide-ranging repertoire was formed and then discovered by chance. Nevertheless, their booking this week at the Outpost to kick off the 22nd Annual Summer Thursday Jazz Nights series, in tandem with the Jackie Zamora Brazilian Quintet, was a purely intentional move by Outpost Executive Director Tom Guralnick, who knows a good thing when he hears it. Continue reading
Early on in 20 Feet from Stardom (2013), Morgan Neville’s Oscar-winning and highly recommended documentary about backup singers, Bruce Springsteen notes that while the physical distance between the star and the backup singers is only a few feet, it is a long, hard journey to get across that distance. Lisa Fischer, a longtime member of the supporting cast for the Rolling Stones, Luther Vandross, Sting, and other pop/rock/soul royalty, has seemingly been catapulted into a solo career by the film, but the journey from back to front actually took nearly 40 years—and that despite winning a GRAMMY in 1992. The trip required intense personal honesty and growth, and it has at last placed her otherworldly talents front and center where they rightfully belong.
With a 4+-octave instrument and a musicality that match those of the divas—from Aretha Franklin to Patti LaBelle to Mariah Carey to Whitney Houston—Fischer has been mesmerizing audiences around the world, backed by her band, Grand Baton, featuring JC Maillard on guitar and keys, Aidan Carroll on bass, and Thierry Arpino on drums. This coming weekend, she will lift Albuquerque’s spirits at the fifth annual gala fundraiser for Outpost Performance Space at the Albuquerque Museum’s amphitheater. It is a concert that is not to be missed. Continue reading
New Mexico is blessed with a generous helping of world-class musicians of all types, artists who could play on the world’s finest stages (some do) but choose to make their home here. Stellar reed man, educator, and award-winning broadcaster, Arlen Asher has been on that list for 59 years. Since his arrival here in 1958, Arlen has beguiled audiences with his beautiful tone and his silky lines on an arsenal of woodwinds that he hauls to just about every gig—flutes, saxophones (he once confessed that the bari is his favorite instrument), and clarinet. On May 7, Arlen turns 88, but age has not dimmed his passion for the music. On May 4, this consummate gentleman will celebrate his birthday—and the 83rd birthday of jazz fan and producer Bumble Bee Bob Weil—with a concert in the hall that bears Weil’s name at the Outpost Performance Space. I caught up with Arlen recently to talk about the upcoming gig, which will include pianist Jim Ahrend, bassist Colin Deuble, and drummer John Trentacosta, as well as guest vocalists Judy Christopher and Patti Littlefield. The quartet will reprise the concert at the Museum Hill Café in Santa Fe on May 6, with guest vocalists Susan Abod and Pam Jackson (guitarist Michael Anthony will replace Ahrend). Here are some of the highlights of our conversation. Continue reading
There is nothing sophomoric about singer/songwriter Noah Kite’s self-titled sophomore release. Deftly orchestrating eight songs that he built and often performs solo on an acoustic guitar, Kite has made a giant leap forward from his first release, Light by Light. Focused primarily on the complications of romantic relationships, the digital album Noah Kite excavates, with an admirable emotional honesty and wallop, the pain, accusations, self-recriminations, and disbelief left in their wake. He and English horn/oboe player Laura Gershman, who makes signal contributions to the album, are touring in support of it and will appear in a house concert at Frame-N-Art in Corrales on March 12.
(Full disclosure: Noah Kite is our godson, and the album really is impressive.) Continue reading
On February 19 at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, the magical trio hONEyhoUSe—Mandy Buchanan, Yvonne Perea, and Hillary Smith—will celebrate the release of their live album, Raw Honey. It’s a double shot of hONEyhoUSe love: a live concert, all but guaranteed to lift the spirit and open the heart, and a new album that captures the special energy of their live performances and cements their standing as one of the finest singing/songwriting groups in the country today. Continue reading