Danny Hull Newsletter: Musically This Week Vol XIII, No 44
Hullo friends. Monday morning. Sitting here listening to Michael Royal's Transition, and I should know better. Can't do it - that is write while listening. I'm hearing Mike's deep sense of swing, his inventive soli, his harmonic adventures, his lines, his groove, and his joy of playing. Kind of reminds me of the critic's challenge... How does one describe music with mere words?
Tuesday, 7/19 at the Iris Restaurant 7:30 - 10:30
Michael Royal, piano Phil Sims, trombone Jim Colemon, bass your host, drum set
So rather than reduce the music to an inadequate description, can we coax you into deciding for yourself? After owning Buffalo some 20 years ago, Michael moved to Sarasota. And though we have our share of world-class piano players still among us, one doesn't replace an artist as individual as Michael Royal. Which brings me to the gift of this gig, if I may digress... Simply, I am so very grateful for this venue. Since September of 1998 our Tuesday jazz experiment has provided for reunions of this nature. Michael Royal this week, Don Menza on 8/9, Pete & Jody on 8/23... And my man Mike Kelly just confirmed for both the Lewiston Jazz Festival and for Tuesday, 8/30. We couldn't have done it without Mike Milkie. We couldn't have done it without our loyal audience. And we wouldn't be alive today were it not for the vision of the new ownership at the Maple Entertainment Complex. Thanks to everyone for your continued contribution. We'll stay with it for as long as the fates allow. It goes without saying that if you want to reacquaint yourself with Michael Royal's artistry, this will be your only Buffalo opportunity this year. Mike did appear to a packed house at our curiously lit location back in the summer of '09, and this week we feature him in the company of his life-long Buffalo friends Phil Sims & Jim Colemon. But this time we feature him on Hamburg Music's 6 foot Yamaha. Don't miss this singular performance, now at the new Iris Restaurant - good music, good food, good people, chilled spirits, air conditioning, and still a great hang.
Sunday, 7/24 at Shakespeare Hill2:00 - 4:00
Barbara Jean, vocals Bobby Jones, piano Cameron Kayne, bass yours truly, drum set
Barbara Jean brings her silky, smooth vocal stylings and her clever tunes to Shakespeare Hill next Sunday. If you've heard her at the former Bobby McGee's or at the Ellicottville Jazz Festival, you are already charmed. Perfect intonation and Sinatra-like phrasing would be enough to set her apart, but what is truly exceptional about Barbara Jean is that she writes her own tunes: lyrics, melody, and chord changes. And they're good! Why the exclamation point? Because most musicians groan when the singer on the gig says, "Can we play this tune I wrote?" I've told this story before, but it's worth repeating: Before I ever heard her sing, Barbara Jean gave me her recently released CD, Sweet. And the truth is, I was really more interested in hearing how Mike Jones & Cameron Kayne sounded on the recording. I stuck the disc in the car CD changer, and along with this genuine, uncluttered voice and swinging piano, were these standards I didn't recognize. Now I thought I was relatively versed in the Great American Songbook, but I didn't know any of these tunes. Curiosity being what it is, I turned to the liner notes to discover that Barbara Jean had written them 15 of the 17 tunes on the record! She has already had one of her tunes licensed by a daytime television program, and she is now preparing to go into the studio to record her sophomore effort. So bring your cooler and your fold-up chair, and join us for Week 3 of this summer's Buffalo News Sunday Jazz Series, this year at Shakespeare Hill.
next Tuesday, 7/26 at the Iris Restaurant 7:30 - 10:30
Three Brothers & a Distant Cousin
Phil Sims - trombone & arrangements Andy Weinzler, Russ D'Alba & Kelly Bucheger - tenor saxes Michael T. Jones - piano Cameron Kayne - bass your host - drum set