Take a trip down to New Orleans and steep in the sexy soul of jazz, blues, and rock ’n’ roll. Sax master Erik Lawrence has teamed up with the brilliantly hip and slickly hypnotic Hipmotism—Steven Bernstein on slide and valve trumpets, Rene Hart on acoustic bass and gadgets, and Allison Miller on drums—and the fare consists of a very fine selection of cool covers: Duke Ellington’s slo-mo “Creole Love Call,” The Beatles’ “Come Together,” Dinah Washington’s strutting “Soulville,” and Fats Domino’s sorrowful “Going To The River.” Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” is an unexpected treat to hear from a jazz ensemble: bass, drums, and chimes sliding slow as molasses behind bluesy brass. Some of the more upbeat tunes are Lawrence’s own; “Sonny Days” is hard-rollicking dance-worthy bop and “Time The Is Now” is heavy on horns and breakneck drums.
The CD is dedicated to Fats himself and all the folks of the lower Mississippi who were victimized by Hurricane Katrina, and it was recorded in just one day of first takes at the Woodstock studio of Levon Helm just one week before the tragedy hit. The resulting collaboration between these artists—and their respective solos within the songs—call back the ghosts of those souls lost in the storm and those who brought us the moxie of this music in the first place. www.hipmotism.com.
Tal National will perform at the Falcon in Marlboro on April 3 at 7pm (donation requested; (845) 236-7970; Liveatthefalcon.com); the Half Moon in Hudson on April 4 at 8pm ($10; (518) 828-1562; Thehalfmoonhudson.com); the Iron Horse in Northampton, Massachusetts, on April 9 at 7pm ($10, $13; (413) 586-8686; Beta.iheg.com); and the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy on April 12 at 7pm ($10; (518) 272-2390; Mediasanctuary.org).
With its open-air format, where attendees picnic in the parks and watch the stars emerge during performances, and its $5 youth tickets, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice is the perfect place to share with children a love of music and theater, in a variety of styles.