An artist’s paint waits to create, and the quintet Wet Paint has been laying down sonic strokes with wild abandon since 1995. The band has done it again on this seven-track, seventh CD, recorded live at Woodstock’s Joyous Lake in April 2005. Players vary from gig to gig, and this set features producer Doug “Dug” Elliot on vocals, conga, djembe, and percussion; Steve Gorn on flutes and sax; Mark E. Johnson on tabla and drums; Pete Levin on keys; and the well-known Don Pate on bass. Don’t be fooled by the New-Agey title—if you hunger for the unbridled feel of jazz improv, the tribal rhythms of world music, and the organic disarray of what Elliot calls “aural painting,” this ensemble thwacks upbeat ear whacks for the most fearless of tympanic membranes.
Elliot states, however, that the music is neither improv nor rehearsed, but is in fact existing poetry and melodies set to real-time compositions in which players are encouraged to take flight. Speaking of the artist’s brush, Elliot’s soft-hued figures and landscapes grace the cover. One complaint might be the somewhat canned sound, but in this case it doesn’t greatly detract from the experience. Snaps! Click on www.wetpaint.net or pick this one up at Rhino Records in New Paltz or Blue Byrd haberdashery in Uptown Kingston.
Why and how dare she devote an entire album to songs by Laura Nyro when we can just listen to the originals on Spotify? I'll tell you why. Because Christine Spero fully inhabits these songs, uncovers hidden nuances, and with her stunning ensemble—including drummer Peter O'Brien, bassist Scott Petito, saxophonist Elliot Spero, and Christine's own magic hands on the ivories.
This month, we once again ring in the new year with a specially selected panel of Hudson Valley music mavens, who run down their top releases of 2016 and talk current crushes and future faves along the way.
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.