Sunday, January 19, 2014

Danny Hull: Musically This Week January, 2014

Hello friends.  Mixed feelings...

I've been looking forward to sending you this invitation since getting the call a few weeks ago.  But my humble news pales significantly with what I learned only this past Friday.  Humanity has lost a unique and special soul...

If there was ever a living example of grace and strength in the face of the most formidable challenges, it was Diana Pittman.  Relentlessly cheerful, Diana was the singular generous spirit among her many friends and musical equals.  I was simply in awe of her.  To know what she went through since her diagnosis, now twenty years ago, and to be greeted with smiling eyes and a lilt in her voice?  How did she do that?  A lesser person would simply submit.  But not Diana.  She played and sang to the end, her last couple of gigs with an oxygen tank at her side!  My deepest condolences to her husband of 47 years, Frank Pittman - a living example of strength and humanity in his own right, to her lovely, spirited, and talented daughter Zoe, and to her son Bob.  The Buffalo music community has lost a quiet leader.  The planet has lost one of its better people.  Rest in Peace, Diana.  You are irreplaceable.

Thus the mixed feelings.  It seems a bit untoward to at first honor Diana's memory, and then invite you to co-celebrate this life.  But cliche or not, Diana would expect no less...

Wednesday, 1/22/2014 at Dick & Jenny's Bake & Brew     6:30 - 9:30
Joe Rozler, piano and vocals. 

Joe Rozler, piano & vocals     Buddy Fadale, bass     your host, drum set
The good news is that I've found a new home.  The bad news is that the proprietors don't know it yet.  And that, friends, is where you come in.  Basically, I spoke for you when I pitched this gig.  Long story short, Jenny mentioned to her manager that she'd like to book a band for a single Wednesday in January.  Opportunity seized, her manager said, "Get Dan Hull.  He's got a following".  True story.  Now I need that following - on what is forecast to be an eight degree winter day.  But here's more of the truth: I'm a big fan of Dick & Jenny's.  I'm there a lot.  The food is incredible, the ambiance unique and comfortable, the service friendly and welcoming, the prices reasonable, and the beers & spirits well beyond your standard fare.  If I can nail down this gig, I would finally have a full partner.  For the 15 years that I hosted the guest artist series, it was all on the musicians to generate an audience.  Nobody ever went to any of our former venues for a good meal and a choice glass of wine.  But at Dick & Jenny's, it's all under one roof.  I have no promises beyond this Wednesday, but Dick & Jenny's could be the answer to renewing the guest artist series.  The challenge is getting an audience to come out on a frigid weeknight.  If you're inclined to renew your formerTuesday night acquaintances, can you call for reservations?  Ask if I'm going to be there, and book a table for dinner?  You know Joe Rozler.  You know how entertaining he is.  After all these years I don't really have to sell you on the music.  That's why you're on this mailing list.  But the scene has suffered locally, and we need this music and each other.  The guest artist series was never about me.  It was always about the unique and sundry talent that we have at our disposal, whether it be a world-class musician who lives within driving distance, or a Buffalo expatriate home for a visit.  We've lost that since I left Milkie's last August.  Here's another chance, and if we want it, we need to support it.  Thanks for reading.  Hope to see you...

Sunday, 1/26/2014 at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery     3:00
Tim Berne & Snakeoil
Tim Berne, saxophone     Oscar Noriega, clarinet     Matt Mitchell, piano     Ches Smith, drum set & percussion
Tim Berne - Snakeoil

With an intrepid three-decade career that has firmly established him as one of the Top 10 Essential New York Jazz Icons (TimeOut New York), alto saxophonist and composer (and Syracuse, New York native) Tim Berne is “one of the most cogent, clear-eyed figures to come out of the American jazz vanguard” (The Buffalo News).  Berne has recently garnered universal acclaim with his new ensemble Snakeoil. Their eponymous first album for ECM Records, produced by the legendary Manfred Eicher, made numerous critics’ lists for the top 10 best releases of 2012. This fascinating contemporary chamber-like group highlights Berne’s highly original composing style to stunning effect—Snakeoil creates essential twenty-first century jazz that is “rich, absorbing, multi-hued, and continually surprising” (London Jazz News).  With more than four years together, Berne and his band of New York standouts upped the ante with their recent 2013 ECM release Shadow Man, a recording that “in trying to capture Snakeoil’s live performance in detail and dynamic, is not only successful, it reveals this band at a peak of instinctive, intuitive creativity and imagination” (Thom Jurek, All About Jazz). 

Now in its fifteenth season as the most successful music series of its kind in Western New York history, Art of Jazz has established the Albright-Knox Auditorium as one of the premier venues for live jazz in North America.  The 2013–2014 series will continue with Ambrose Akinmusire (March 23, 2014, 3 pm), and C├ęcile McLorin Salvant (April 26, 2014, 8 pm).

Individual concert tickets are $25 for Members and $29 for non-members. Season tickets, for all four concerts, are available at a discounted rate of $90 for Members. Tickets can be purchased at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Admissions Desk or online at

The Hunt Real Estate Art of Jazz Series is supported, in part, by a generous grant from Hunt Real Estate. It is produced by Bruce Eaton and organized by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. The Tim Berne/Snakeoil concert has been made possible, in part, through the generous support of Christi and Bruce Reinoso.

Saturday, 2/1 with the Buffalo Brass at the Iris Restaurant Noon - 1:00
Saturday, 2/15 with Wendell Rivera at the Water Street Landing 7:30 - 11:00
Friday, 3/7  with Dave Scott at Wegman's Amherst Street 6:00 - 8:00
Thursday, 3/13     Grease at The Park School     5:30
Friday, 3/14     Grease at The Park School     7:30
Saturday, 3/15     Grease at The Park School     7:30
Sunday, 3/16     Grease at The Park School     2:30
Friday, 8/22 Dan Hull & Friends at the Lewiston Jazz Festival     8:30
Saturday, 8/23 with Barbara Jean at the Lewiston Jazz Festival     4:30
Saturday, 8/23 with Matt Richards at the Lewiston Jazz Festival     8:00


Diana Parrish Pittman  3/24/1944 - 12/16/2014
Courage is grace under pressure.
 - Ernest Hemingway

Hope to see you...